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Full text of "The Heritage Lodge no. 730, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. : proceedings 1997"

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Vol. 20, 1997 

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Original Painting by Bro. Basil Liaskas 

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V.W.Bro. GEORGE A. NAPPER, Worshipful Master 
370 Culpepper Place, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5L3 

V.W.Bro. SAMUEL FORSYTHE, Secretary 

752 Hampton Court, Pickering, Ontario L1 W 3M3 

Phone (905) 831 -2076 Fax (905) 831 -781 5 


20 Fairview Crescent, Woodstock, Ont. N4S 6L1 

Phone (519) 537-2927 


Subject Page 

The Worshipful Master 3 1 5 

The Role of the Masonic Lodge in the Life of 
Small Communities in Ontario in the 1860 f s 

By W.Bro. Gordon L. Finbow 3 17 

Annual Heritage Lodge Banquet Address 

Dr. Charles Duncombe — His Life and Times 

By the Late Bro. George E. Thorman 

(Presented by W.Bro. Donald L. Cosens) 347 

Freemasonry in the Knowledge Society 

By W.Bro. Norman Pearson 367 

A History of the Lodges of Grey Masonic District 

By. R. W.Bro. Richard J. Lemaich 375 

R. W.Bro. Otto Klotz - The Times of His Life 

By R. W.Bro. Colin Heap 391 

Eulogy: R. W.Bro. Rev. Wesley Gray Rivers 398 

Memorial Service: R. W.Bro. Rev. Arthur Wellington Watson 400 

Our Departed Brethren 402 

The Heritage Lodge Officers, Committee Chairmen 404 

The Heritage Lodge Past Masters 405 


The contributors to these Proceedings are alone 

responsible for the opinions expressed and also 

for the accuracy of the statements made therein, 

and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 

The Heritage Lodge No. 730 G.R.C. 

The oral presentation at our meetings 

shall be restricted to 30 minutes. 

Papers presented to the Lodge mil be printed in full in 

The Heritage Lodge Proceedings in November each year. 



It is a pleasure as the twentieth Worshipful Master to write 
the preface to The Heritage Lodge Proceedings for the year 

This has been a year of loss by The Heritage Lodge of 
long-time supporters. R.W.Bro. Arthur Watson, who was 
Chaplain, and R.W.Bro. Grey Rivers, a former Secretary, 
passed to the Great Lodge Above. 

Bro. George Thorman who had been unable to present his 
paper on Dr. Charles Buncombe - His Life and Times in 
March 1996, when the meeting was cancelled due to the 
weather, died before he could present it at our Annual 
Heritage Banquet in January 1997. W.Bro. Donald Cosens a 
long time friend of Bro. Thorman read the paper in his place. 

The March meeting hosted by St. John's Lodge No. 209A 
in London saw a thought-provoking paper on Freemasonry in 
the Knowledge Society presented by W.Bro. Norman Pearson. 

A different type of paper was presented at our May 
meeting hosted by Scott Lodge No. 421 in Grand Valley. The 
paper was the History of Grey District and all the lodges 
contributed to the paper prepared by R.W.Bro. Richard J. 
Lemaich. He challenged other districts to prepare similar 
histories of their own districts. 

On our election night R.W.Bro Colin Heap presented a 
paper on R. W.Bro. Otto Klotz - The Times of His Life. This 
gave some insight into a Mason who contributed so much to 
our Grand Jurisdiction. 

I would like to thank the members of The Heritage Lodge 
for giving me the honour of serving as the Worshipful Master 
and the Officers and Past Masters for their support this year. 


George A. Napper W.M. 




Initiated Twin City Lodge No. 509 1 986 

Member Royal City Lodge of Perfection 1 987 

Member Guelph Chapter Rose Croix 1987 

Member Moore Sovereign Consistory 1 987 

Affiliated The Heritage Lodge No. 730 1 980 

Worshipful Master Twin City Lodge No. 509 1991 
President Waterloo District Masters 

Past Masters and Wardens Association 1 991 -1 995 

Secretary Kitchener-Waterloo Temple Board 1 994-1 996 

Member The Philalethes Society 1 995 

Grand Steward, Grand Lodge of Canada G.R.C., A.F. & A.M. 1997 



in the Life of Small Communities 

in Ontario in the 1860's 


in Leamington Lodge No. 290 G.R.C. 

Leamington Masonic Temple, Leamington, Ontario 

May 11, 1996 

The restored lodge room at Black Creek Pioneer Village, 
Toronto, Ontario has often been described as a window into 
Masonry. This paper is dedicated to the Masonic interpreters at 
Black Creek Pioneer Village, who open the curtains to enable the 
light to shine through. 


We dare not ask when life will leave us; 
Instinctively we hold our breath. 
Though passing hours like tyrants grieve us, 
Still would we shun the pains of death. 
But rising from the grave of bygone years, 
A spirit comes to pacify our fears; 
'Tis Memory, and in her light man hears 
Naught but the music of the Past. 

Charles Mair, Perth, Aug. 1, 1868 39p9 

The research for this paper was conducted primarily in Simcoe, Perth 
and Markham. These were small communities in the 1 860*s, and had 
active lodges and newspapers then. I am indebted to Norfolk Lodge No. 
10, Simcoe, True Briton's Lodge No. 14 in Perth, and Markham Union 
Lodge No. 87, Markham, for permission to use their records and for the 
assistance I received from their members, hi order to better understand 
the activities of the 1860's, it proved necessary to look at earlier and 
later historical, economic, political and sociological information. 


A large portion of this paper was omitted when originally published 

last year. For continuity the entire paper is now being published. 



This paper will present the following: 

1. Social, demograplucal and economic conditions leading up to and 
into the 1860's. 

2. The state of Freemasonry in Canada entering the 1860's. 

3. The external pressures on Canada entering and during the 1860's. 

4. Local lodges and their activities in the 1860's. 

5. Examples of involved brethren and their activities. 

6. Conclusion and some views for reflection. 


Upper Canada, later to become Canada West and then Ontario, was 
from the earliest days of settlement to the end of the 1860's marked by 
constant change. The local life of the towns of Upper Canada during the 
first half century after the creation of the province was patterned after 
that of English towns of the same period. 36 p321 

Freemasonry was present from the very beginning. The first 
Legislative Council met in Free-masons' Hall, Niagara-on-the Lake, in 
1792 36p619 

It is virtually impossible to say when or where the first Lodge was 
held in what is now Ontario. We can, however, be reasonably sure that 
it would have been one attached to a British army regiment (or a naval 
ship). We do know that a Lodge known as No. 156 in the King's 
Regiment, the 8th Foot, was at Fort Niagara in 1773 and was stationed 
at this location which is now in the State of New York, and in parts of 
Canada until 1785. 22pI5 

From this beginning Freemasonry grew, as Ontario grew, to the 
Masonic presence we know today. 

The people of Ontario emigrated primarily from the British Isles with 
a small but significant segment coming from the United States. 

The immigrants from the British Isles brought with them many of the 
same organizations that they had known in the old country. Among the 
Irish settlers, the Orange Lodge was very important. The Orange lodges 
helped bring together Irish Protestants in Upper Canada. They gave 
financial help to new arrivals from Britain. The lodges offered a 
substitute for a church when ministers were hard to find (for services 
such as funerals). Their members watched over morals and organized 
social activities in frontier settlements. Other self-help organizations 
included the St. Andrew's, the St. David's and St. George's societies 
named after the patron saints of Scotland, Wales and England 
respectively. Among working men there were Oddfellows and Foresters 
societies and the beginnings of union organization. 28p249 



National societies based on nationalist feelings toward their recently 
left homeland flourished. These included mechanics institutes; firemen's 
organizations; religious organizations such as the British & Foreign 
Bible Society; library and debating societies; brass bands which were 
supported by other groups for parades, etc.; horticultural societies; 
agricultural societies and fall fairs, and private schools. These 
organizations sponsored public lectures, receptions and balls. 36344 

Lodges and fraternal societies played a very important part in the 
early social life, especially after settlements had grown into thriving 
communities. 36 p328 

What was to become of Ontario was a vast, diversified land. Pioneer 
settlement occurred at different places at different times. Villages and 
towns grew to support the growing agricultural economy. 

Pioneer districts were still at hand, but by the 1860's the older 
settlements had gone far beyond their first difficulties and had reached 
a more advanced stage of development. 2915345 

The men who dirong her marts and clear her forests are workers, not 
dreamers; who have already realized Solomon's pithy proverb: In all 
labour is profit; and their industry has imbued them with a spirit of 
independence which cannot fail to make them a free and enlightened 
people. 32 p5 

An army, or at least a special constabulary force, usually followed 
close upon the heels of the frontiersmen; indeed, many of the earliest 
settlements, for instance that of the Richelieu Valley in New France and 
of Perth in Upper Canada, were affected by military organizations. 3015189 

This contrasted with the United States where frontiersmen were self- 
protecting. Formal institutions of law and order followed settlement in 
the United States but usually later than in British America and only after 
the concept of self-reliance was firmly established. The right to bear 
arms became a landmark in die United States because of the past need for 
self-protection on the frontiers and the resulting attitudes of 
independence and self-reliance. In British America the settlers or 
frontiersmen instead became dependent earlier upon those formal 
institutions such as army, constabulary and courts for their protection, as 
they were available much earlier in the settlement process. Tins 
difference in attitude towards guns and the need for guns for protection 
is one of the significant differences between Canadians and Americans 

The effort to build up a political system in Canada which would 
remain independent of the United States involved the imposition of 
strong checks upon revolutionary tendencies. New France was isolated 



from revolutionary France through the building up in the colony of a 
powerfully centralized political and ecclesiastical system. The British 
colonies and, after 1867, the Canadian nation were similarly isolated 
from outside revolutionary influences by the maintenance of a strong 
system of political control, supported by the church, a privileged upper 
class, and before 1870, the British army and navy. Whereas the Ameri- 
can nation was a product of the revolutionary spirit, the Canadian nation 
grew mainly out of forces of a counter-revolutionary character.. 30 p190 

The reason was that frontier settlement in Canada rarely extended far 
beyond the reach of the military forces of Empire or nation. The 
vulnerability of the Canadian frontier forced early attention to the 
problems of defense, with the result that law-enforcement agencies could 
usually rely on the support of military forces. 30 pl9 ° 

In the 1840's and 1850's immigration from the United Kingdom (and 
to a lesser extent the United States) continued to help develop the 
unsettled parts of Canada West still suited to agricultural population. 
According to the census of 1851, just under sixty per cent of the people 
in Canada West had been born in the region. Another 18 per cent had 
been born in Ireland, nine percent in England and Wales, eight percent 
in Scotland and five per cent in the United States. By 1860 an estimated 
30,000 Black refugees were living north of the Great Lakes. 26 pl04 

The Irish potato famine of the 1840's increased the numbers of Irish 
Catholics, though Protestant Ulstermen were still dominant. 26 p, ° 4 

The Irish potato famine of the 1840's devastated an already 
impoverished rural people. Potatoes were the staple of their diet, and the 
rotting of seed potatoes two years in a row with the resulting crop failures 
resulted in lack of income and widespread starvation. Irish farmers on 
small holdings were mostly tenants of English absentee landlords who 
engaged local agents to look after their interests. These agents and 
English landowners were unsympathetic to the plight of their tenant- 
farmers, refusing their requests for waiving or reducing rents. Thousands 
were evicted from their rented land, as well as thousands who lost their 
owned land due to not being able to meet their obligations. The British 
government in England offered little in relief. This lack of response to 
the plight of the Irish people by government in England as well as the 
English landowners caused intense feelings of animosity toward the 
English by the Irish. The lack of food, money and future caused 
4,000,000 Irish men, women and children to emigrate; with a large 
percentage going to the United States and British America. 

Many of the Irish who left their shores carried with them a legacy of 
hatred for anything English. This hatred became as much of their 



cultural identity as the Catholic faith, their Gaelic speech and their folk 
music. These immigrants were the basis of the Fenian Societies that we 
will hear about later. 

Many Irish immigrants arrived in British North America. They were 
the largest group after the French Canadians in the years leading up tn 
Confederation in 1867. 28p239 

The population of Canada West increased dramatically during the 
quarter century preceding Confederation in 1867. The half-million people 
of the early 1840's had risen to a million people by the 1850's and a 
million and a half people by the 1860's. By 1860 almost twenty percent 
of the population of Canada West lived in cities, towns and villages. 26 p102 

By the 1860's the agricultural settlement frontier was starting to 
flounder on the rocky Canadian shield, Southern Ontario would remain 
fundamentally agricultural until the later nineteenth century. 26 pl04 

By 1860 the cultural mosaic had acquired distinctive geographic 
clustering that would persist well into the twentieth century. Yet even the 
regionalism of Canada West had important diversities. The past was 
awash with Tory loyalism and the Orange Order. But it was also a centre 
of Scottish and French Catholic influence. 26 p108 

Public interest in the many demographic segments of the population 
led to speculative newspaper articles like the following: 

A lack of records from before 1849 makes it impossible to determine 
when Anglicans at Smiths Falls decided on the name of St. John the 
Evangelist for their parish. A celebration of the Masonic anniversary of 
St. John the Evangelist at Smiths Falls in Jan. 1841 suggests that the 
predominantly Anglican membership of Saint Francis (Masonic) Lodge 

may aCCOUnt for naming the parish. 40 P21 ° Kingston Chronicle and Gazette, 27 January 1841. 

The plain political fact was that in British America, all societies, 
whether religious or secular, had, like all individuals, to be treated with 
equal consideration, or hot resentment followed. 58 p87 

An unprecedented economic boom had developed by the early 1850's. 
The English-Canadian society that would typify Ontario in the late 
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had begun to take shape. From 
a distance, it was a British Empire variation on North American themes, 
with an increasingly pronounced Anglo-Protestant mainstream. Up close, 
English-speaking Canada West was still a place where a vigorous 
cultural mosaic and large numbers of recent immigrants brought great 
variety (and conflict) to the wider community stimulated by a new 
railway age. 26 p105 

In eastern Canada a growing network of railways began to link the 
colonies. 28 p251 



The railway era really began in the 1850's. At the beginning of the 
decade there were in British North America some 60 miles of short lines 
which were intended merely as portages between waterways. By 1860 
there were over two thousand miles, and railways were rivals of the 
waterways. 29 p29 ° 

They (the railways) might solve, as nothing else could, the problem 
of the barriers winch separated the parts of British North America. 29 p293 

The 1850's were a period of massive immigration, particularly from 
the British Isles. The growing population settled mainly in rural Upper 
Canada and market towns serving the farms. This settlement on the lands 
ran into obstacles. Good land was running out. Settlement followed the 
lumber trade through the Ottawa Valley to Lake Huron, and north of 
Lake Simcoe (west of Perth). Into this region colonization roads with free 
land grants were started, but lands suitable for farming were scarce and 
soon abandoned by settlers. There was great demand for wheat in the 
1850's giving high prices and the building of solid farm buildings and 
town houses. The lumber industry had really taken off in the late 1850's 
because the 1854 Treaty of Reciprocity had opened up Canadian forests 
to Americans and Brits such as J.R. Booth and E.B. Eddy. 581 ' 3 

The lumber camps were the great source of winter work for farm 
labour made surplus by the season. From family life on the farms to the 
gregariousness of the shanty. 58 p5 

To add to the excitement of the times, late in 1859, Cariboo Lake, 
(British Columbia) the centre of the richest (gold) region was discovered. 
During the 1860's, $25,000,000 in gold was yielded. 29p299 

By the 1860's, Canada West, which was shortly to become Ontario, 
had developed into a prosperous and populous rural society. Its main 
dilemma was the growing pressure on the available land, a problem that 
would eventually find its solution as the next wave of settlement 
overleapt the barren expanses of the Canadian Shield to arrive in the rich 
and empty prairies. ,0p247 

By the later 1850's a system of decimal coinage based on a new 
Canadien dollar had replaced the pound sterling as the official currency 
of the United Province. New trade with the United States helped bring a 
resounding economic boom to the Ontario territory. Many smaller 
Ontario centres became thriving wheat markets. 26 p107 

After a turbulent adolescence in the 1850's, Ontario emerged as a 
mature, self-confident province in the 1860's. 42 p26 ° 

Canada West had a diverse population going into the 1860's as we 
have seen already, but it further divided into two distinct economic 



Two veiy different societies were separated by the empty townships 
along the Rideau. The American-origin inhabitants along the St. 
Lawrence forged a society in which individualism was strong and where 
there were few collective enterprises or economic partnerships. 40p58 

By contrast, the group settlements of Irish and Scottish immigrants 
around Perth and Richmond featured many economic partnerships and 
group enterprises, These mutual enterprises among the British immi- 
grants were variously based on ethnic or religious ties of people coming 
from the same local of the old country, or having served in the same 
regiment and on ties through secret societies such as the Orange and 
Masonic Lodges. 40 p58 

Changing attitudes towards membership in secret societies is 
indicated in the following article which appeared in the Perth Courier 
Newspaper on Jan. 27, 1860: 

At a meeting of City Council of Toronto on Tuesday, 24th of 
January, the rule by which members of secret societies were excluded 
from and rendered incapable of serving in the Public Force was, without 
a division, repealed.** 

ENTERING THE 1860 , s 

Freemasonry had been expanding and evolving in the years 
preceding the 1850's as dramatically as the changes that were occurring 
in society in those same years. 

We now come to that troubled period in the history of Freemasonry in 
Canada when there was much correspondence with the Grand Lodge of 
England, regarding the formation of an independent Grand Lodge of 
Canada. Suffice it to say that the Grand Lodge of Canada was formed 
with the same ideals and rules as the Grand Lodge of England, but 
sovereign in itself over all Lodges in its jurisdiction. 24 

The Honourable H.T.Backus, Past Master of the Grand Lodge of 
Miclugan performed the installation ceremony at a special meeting at the 
Masonic Hall at Hamilton on the 2nd November 1855. The new Grand 
Lodge was duly constituted under the name of The Most Worshipful, The 
Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Canada and 
William Mercer Wilson was installed as the first Grand Master. 16 

Not all Masonic Lodges in the area of jurisdiction of the new Grand 
Lodge joined the new Grand Lodge. 

By July, 1856, 39 lodges had affiliated with the Provincial Grand Lodge. 
One of these being a newly formed lodge called Simcoe Lodge, in 
Simcoe, the home of W. Mercer Wilson. 14 



His first act as Grand Master was to prepare a communication to the 
Grand Lodge of England in which he set forth clearly the causes leading 
up to the Grand Lodge formation, mentioning specifically the 
uncourteous neglect of the Mother Grand Lodge to answer the numerous 
appeals made to it to remedy existing injustices. 14 

This neglect by the Mother Grand Lodge in England was happening 
at the same time that fundamental changes were taking place in Britain. 
In the next two decades (1850's and 1860's) Britain reached a high point 
of industrial development and material prosperity. 28 

As regards her colonies, Britain was gradually abandoning the 
mercantilism position which had been the basis of her old colonial 
empire. The products of British factories were selling everywhere. British 
investors were building railways, bridges and factories all over the 
globe. 28 

All this was making the nation wealthy and there seemed to be no 
need to keep the colonies as source of raw materials or dependent 
markets. This meant an end to the preferred treatment that British North 
American fanners had enjoyed. It meant that the colonies had to start 
defending their economic interests for themselves.' 28 

Two similar fundamental changes in attitude by the government in 
England and the Grand Lodge of England: A coincidence? Indications 
of a more independent Canada in the future? 

During the three years, 1855 to 1858, efforts were being made to 
have all Masons in the jurisdiction unified under one Grand Lodge. In 
1857 the Provincial Grand Lodge severed the ties that bound it to the 
Mother Grand Lodge. 14 

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Canada on the 14th of July 
1858, to meet in King Solomon's Lodge in Toronto, it was arranged that 
the longed-for union (of the Grand Lodge of Canada and the Provincial 
Grand Lodge, now called the Ancient Grand Lodge) would then be 
consummated. 16 

In the Grand Master's address tn the 1860 Grand Communication, 
he reported that Twenty-one new lodges were granted dispensations 
during the previous year and It was a time of harmony and expansion for 
Grand Lodge particularly in the area of Masonic charity. ' 

From a History of York Lodge, No. 156: The lodge register gives an 
excellent picture of the cosmopolitan nature of the lodge, and shows that 
true Masonic principles existed in every stratum of society, irrespective 
of rank. 6 

Thus at the beginning of the 1860's the Grand Lodge of Canada was 
stable and harmonious, and able to give the necessary leadership and 



direction to its lodges enabling tliein to carry out their work and activities 
in the 1860's. 

Before we look at those lodge activities, let us take a look at two 
excerpts, one by Susanna Moodie, and the other by Una Abrahamson 
which provide some contrasting observations about social life in the 
1840's, 1850's and the 1860's: 

You can scarcely adopt a better plan of judging of the wealth and 
prosperity of a town than by watching, of a Sabbath morning, the 
congregations of the different denominations going to church. 

Belleville weekly presents to the eye of the observing spectator a 
large body of well dressed, happy looking people, robust, healthy, 
independent-looking men, and well-formed, handsome women— an air of 
content and comfort resting upon their comely faces— no look of haggard 
care and pinching want marring the quiet solemnity of the scene. 

The dress of the higher class is not only cut in the newest French 
fashion, imported from New York, but is generally composed of rich and 
expensive materials. The Canadian lady dresses well and tastefully and 
carries herself easily and gracefully. She is not unconscious of the 
advantages of a pretty face and figure; but her knowledge of the fact is 
not exhibited in an effected or disagreeable manner. The lower class are 
not a whit behind their wealthier neighbours in outward adornment. And 
the poor immigrant, who only a few months previously landed in rags, is 
now dressed neatly and respectably. The consciousness of their newly- 
acquired freedom has raised them in the scale of society, in their own 
estimation, and in that of their fellows? 2 

The relationships between men and women in the nineteenth century 
brings to mind long and delicate courtships, large happy families with 
proud wise fathers and devoted saintly mothers, all wrapped up in a lace- 
edged valentine. There is another side to the coin which reveals the 
sordidness, the scandals and the widespread vices that flourished. We 
may feel that our times have a new moral standard outmoding other 
mores, but the nineteenth century was also a time of upheaval. The same 
problems existed but perhaps on a larger scale in relationship to a smaller 
population. There was illegitimacy, extensive drug addiction, 
homosexuality, as well as the hypocrisy of the double standard which 
believed in purity for all but allowed young men to adventure if not 
caught, while women were isolated at home. 

How did it all come about? Up to the early days of the nineteenth 
century women in the educated classes were venturesome, knowledge- 
able, cultivated, and they enjoyed personal freedom. All this was 
gradually curtailed as time passed, while education became more sketchy 



and the home became a gilded cage. Women became symbols, enjoying 
greater prestige than ever but no longer participating in daily affairs nor 
able to discuss the problems of the day with their men. Their interests 
were restricted to the social world; they were on a pedestal, adored, 
revered, but untouched. As a result, every young man of the social classes 
who conformed to this new attitude was denied the companionship of 
women of his own background. 

The books, the advertisements and the patent medicines to cure 
unnamed diseases, as well as the thundering from the pulpits, show that 
under the pompous urbanity of the respectable there were festers. The 
growth of prostitution and the lack of adequate relationships between the 
sexes colour the social life and the etiquette of the period. It increases in 
intensity as the century progresses. 

Most of these social problems were restricted to larger areas of 
population although the frontier towns of the west cannot be exempted. 
It is all like one of their favourite parlour games, Charades, play-acting, 
a facade, that completely hides a way of life, until you read between the 
lines of the many books of the period on social life, health, medicine and 
sex. 13 

J.S. Coombs of Perth, a past master of True Briton's Lodge No. 14 
was a chemist and druggist. He advertised in the Perth Courier news- 
paper that he had a franchise to sell A Great Female Medicine" 

It was the common practice that patent medicines of all types be 
advertised in the local newspapers so there was nothing unusual in tins 
ad appearing. I made no further inquiries as to the product advertised. 

If the second excerpt by Una Abrahamson is accurate in its 
perception of the role of women in the society of the 1860's, then did 
Masons as well as other men of the community unconsciously, or perhaps 
deliberately exclude women from participation in daily affairs? Did the 
presence in the communities of fraternal lodges that excluded women and 
which provided men with a cloistered venue for discussion of day-to-day 
events contribute to the isolating of women in the society of the 
nineteenth century? If so, does Freemasonry bear some responsibility for 
this gentile isolation of women? Something to ponder. 


The years up to the 1860's were marked by political instability and 
changes. Those years had seen the rebellion in Lower Canada in 
November 1837, and before it ended, the beginning of the rebellion in 
Upper Canada in December 1837. Even though the Canadian rebellions 



ended, the Patriot agitation continued. Leaders of the Upper Canada 
rebellion fled to the United States where, with the help of American 
sympathizers, orgamzed Patriot societies and Hunters' lodges to invade 
Canada. Raids into Canadian territory happened in 1838. Although the 
raids were all stopped, Canadians were reminded of past worries about 
the intentions of the Americans. These rebellions led to Lord Durham's 
report in 1839 and eventually to the Act of Union, passed by the British 
Parliament in 1840, which united Lower and Upper Canada into Canada 
East and Canada West. This arrangement proved troublesome, and led 
to two political initiatives, the first to establish a federal union of all the 
colonies of British North America, and the second, to form a loose 
federal union of Upper and Lower Canada alone. 9 p241p254 

It seemed clear to the colonial secretary that the federal union plan 
was not workable at that time (1858), for neither the maritime colonies 
on the Atlantic, nor the western colonies in the midst of their gold rush, 
were prepared to help sponsor a union. 11 p252 

Interest in the question was dropped for the moment. Yet nine years 
later Confederation was accomplished. The military threat of the United 
States, and a strong coalition government in the Province of Canada were 
two important elements missing in 1858 but present in 1864. 1,p252 

In April 1861 the American Civil War broke out. 

In 1861 very few Canadians had any desire for annexation to the 
United States. There was fear of what the North American Army would 
do after it had defeated the South in the American Civil War. Militia 
gave an outlet to the patriotism of young Canadians. 581589 

The Trent Affair: An American naval officer, Captain Charles 
Wilkes, stopped the Royal Mailship Steamship Trent in the Bahamas 
channel on Nov. 8, 1861 and removed two commissioners as contraband 
of war. Would this lead to war or peace? Would tins mean that a war 
between the United States and Britain would be fought on Canadian soil. 
Fourteen thousand British solders were sent to Canada to defend British 
America. The Militia of volunteers grew. The Trent Affair was resolved 
peacefully. 58 pl0 ° 

The Trent Affair revealed the precarious state of communications in 
all Canada. 58 " 103 

On January 24, 1862, The Perth Courier expressed considerable 
concern about the war in the United States and the implications for 
Canada West. 44 

The last surviving Imperial obligation in the second British Empire 
was defense. Down to die middle of the nineteenth century, Great Britain 
had borne almost its entire burden herself. She was still bearing it, 



though with increasing reluctance, when the outbreak of the American 
Civil War in 1861 compelled her to make a last great effort for the 
defense of British America. In the winter of 1861-62, at the time of the 
Trent crisis, Great Britain made a military re-entry into North America 
with forces greater than those employed at the height of the Seven Years' 
War; and although these large numbers were subsequently reduced, 
reinforcements were again dispatched to repel the Fenian raids in 1866. n 
p ,2 ° Before the end of 1871, the last British soldiers marched out of St. 
John's and Quebec. 12p122 

Other events contributed to the uncertainties. 

The Reciprocity Treaty extended from Jan. 1, 1854 to Jan 1, 1864 and 
was extended for one year. In June 1865 at a convention at Detroit called 
to decide to continue or terminate the Treaty, John F. Potter, American 
Consul General in Montreal, urged the ending of Reciprocity as a means 
of putting pressure on the provinces to seek annexation. There was 
support for this in the United States northeast but Potter's blurting it out 
was offensive in the extreme and resented in American and Colonial 
circles. 8 p186 

The St. Albans raid, carried out in October 1864 by a small party of 
Confederate soldiers who used Canada as a base for a descent on the 
town of St. Albans in Vermont, roused the United States to a paroxysm 
of indignation. 12p,5 ° 

At the end of May 1866, General John O'Neil crossed the Niagara 
River with a force of 1,500 Fenians, and two days later a column of 
Canadian militia met the American invaders at Ridgeway in still another 
spirited fight on the historic battlegrounds of the Niagara frontier. This 
futile but bloody harrying of the border was a potent force in the growth 
of Canadian nationalism, and the belief that union was necessary for 
defense and survival gave strength to the Confederation movement. 12p,5 ° 

When the North won and the war (American Civil) ended in 1865, 
Canadians really began to worry. They wondered whether the North 
would then turn their vast armies against Canada. Would they see an 
attack on Canada as a way of getting revenge on Britain? An American 
Senator suggested tliat Canada should be turned over to the United States 
for the damage done by the British boat Alabama. In the summer of 1867, 
an American official, William H. Seward, had said in a speech: / know 
that Nature plans that this whole continent, not merely these 36 states, 
shall be, sooner or later, within the American union. 21 p53 

The Fenian attacks (1866) had two major effects on British North 
American colonies. 

First, John A. Macdonald managed to turn the raids to his 



advantage. He argued that a united country would be better able to resist 
such invasions. It was time, he said, that Canadians thought more 
seriously about defense. The governments of the provinces voted more 
money for defense and more volunteers were trained for the army. 

Second, there was a feeling of resentment on the part of the 
Canadians against the United States government for allowing the Fenian 
raids to go on so long. Many felt that American newspapers encouraged 
the Fenians. Thus the Fenians provided another push towards 
Confederation. 271554 

It is a curious fact in Canadian history that the Fenians uninten- 
tionally did a great service to the cause of Confederation. 29 p318 

After the American Civil War ended in April 1865, Fenian Irish 
Nationalists disbanded from the northern army made brief attacks at 
various points along the United States border with British North 
America, including an attempted invasion near Fort Erie. For a time it 
seemed that the American Civil War might spread into the true north, 
strong and free. 26pl27 

In his address to the 1866 Communication, Wm. Mercer Wilson, 
Grand Master said in his address: Within the last few weeks the soil of 
Canada has been polluted by the tread of a band of lawless invaders, 
(Fenians) the very pariahs of society* 

Confederation occurred and the Dominion of Canada was established 
on July, 1, 1867. 

The British Canadian of Oct. 3, 1866, contained an article about the 
proposed formation of a Grand Lodge of North America. Tins proposal 
came from Lernster Lodge No. 357 I.R., St. John, N.B., and was 
contained in article there on Aug. 6, 1866. 460ct31866 

He (M.W.Bro. W.B. Simpson) believed that Confederation would 
prove of incalculable benefit to our order and place us in the foremost 
rank of the Grand Lodges of the World. He was supportive of setting up 
a Grand Lodge of British North America. 4 

In contrast, in his address to the Grand Lodge Communication of 
1867, M.W.Bro. Wilson was enthusiastic about The Dominion of 
Canada. However, he says: While I readily admit that there is something 
peculiarly pleasing in the idea of uniting all the members of our 
fraternity who reside in the various Provinces now confederated together 
into one grand body; and while contemplating also the probability of 
important territorial additions still to be made to the new Dominion, I 
must confess that I entertain grave doubts whether a union, embracing 
such an immense extent of country, would have a tendency to promote 
the advancement of the best interests of Masonry on this continent? 



It would be interesting to know what circumstances had changed this 

The British North America Act came into force on July 1, 1867. The 
1860's until that time were consumed with the events leading up to 
confederation. After that time the 1860's were taken up with the 
expansion of Canada, eastward and westward. 58 

No one supposed that the Confederation of 1867 could endure as it 
was, a mere enclave of British territory in a continent dominated by the 
United States. Only a union capable of serving as a basis for an authentic 
nationality, and one virtually independent, could do that. The United 
States would accept in the long run only a nation like itself and one 
which was rid of the military power of Great Britain. But the Dominion 
of 1867 was no such basis. For such a foundation both the plains of the 
Northwest and the ports of the Pacific coast were necessary. Because the 
United States was continental, Canada too had to be continental. 58 p223 

Our background as a nation is complete, leaning heavily on the 
traditions of Great Britain, France and America. ,3pvi,i 

Many crosscurrents affected the Canadian way of life; everything 
from the age-old wisdom of the Indians to the inquisitiveness of the 
Yankee-Canadian. There were frontier attitudes, while in the towns there 
was an awareness of caste and rank in what was meant to be a casteless 
society. Life in Canada was kaleidoscopic, always changing, advanced 
yet primitive, different from the life of its southern neighbour, different 
from Europe. It was Canadian. 13pvm 


What did lodges do? What difference did they make? These and 
other similar questions are often asked by visitors to Black Creek Pioneer 
Village Masonic lodgeroom. Now that we have an under-standing of 
society in the 1860's we can examine local lodges and their activities and 
see how they relate to that society. 

It is natural members of the craft residing in a community 
comparatively isolated, and finding themselves denied the privilege of 
assembly which a local lodge affords, should set about creating those 
facilities. 41 p242 

A Masonic lodge is a branch of a larger order with its own 
Worshipful Master and a group of officers. Each lodge has its own 
distinct character which is formed by the activities and personalities of 
its members. The lives of soldiers, poets, yeomen, and other professional 
men are influenced by Masonic teachings. 16 

The Masonic Order or the Free and Accepted Masons was a secret 



society with its owns rituals and code of behaviour. Even in the 1960's 
members could not blaspheme or enter into a controversial discussion 
regarding politics and religion under the penalty of being censured by the 
local body. The Order provided benevolence and relief to its members 
and a regular forum for gathering together. 43 p310 

This is a good, simple description of the role of local Masonic lodges. 

The orderliness instilled by the Masonic fraternity among its 
members in Beckwith during the 1840's was shown by the emphasis to 
resolve disputes among the brethren, their benevolence to brother Ewen 
Cameron when he fell ill and care for his widow after his death, and 
reprimands to brethren who were intemperate on St. John's Day. 41 p242 

V.W.Bro. Otto Klotz, in an address to Ladies Night held at Alma 
Lodge. No. 39, Gait, on December 27, 1864 said: A Freemason's lodge 
is the temple of peace, harmony, and brotherly love. The object of 
Masons meeting in a lodge is of a two-fold nature, Viz: Moral instruction 
and social intercourse. 33 

The wayside tavern and the town inn were centres of the social life 
of the community to an extent which is hard to realize in modern times. 
The first church services and circuses were held at taverns, as well as 
dances, banquets and the meetings of agricultural societies, lodges and 
other social organizations. 36 p327 

Temperance and the use of spirits was a concern to local lodges. We 
note among the items of an account from Bros. Lowes & Powell's store, 
the odd bottles of ale and porter, which leads one to surmise that the 
lodge officially indulged in refreslunents that not only cheered the inner 
man but would also inebriate. 15p75 

Markham Union Lodge No. 87 held early meetings in the Cashel 
Hotel. In 1857 they held meetings in Size's Hotel, Unionville, then in 
1859, the Wellington House in Markham. 60 

In the 1860's after the Lodge moved from Unionville to the 
Wellington Hotel, several motions were made from time to time to move 
the Lodge to Cherrywood or Whitevale. In some instances committees 
were appointed to report on the feasibility of such relocation and while 
such committees usually favoured a move, each motion was deferred or 
defeated. After the Lodge moved from the Wellington Hotel to the 
Orange Hall no further motions were made to move the Lodge from 
Markham. While the Lodge was at the Wellington Hotel it was quite 
customary to call off the Lodge from labour to refreshment. The periods 
of refreshment seem to have lasted from Vi hour to VA hours. As the 
Wellington Hotel had a bar we can speculate where the refreshment time 
was spent. Following the move to the Orange Hall calls from labour to 



refresliment were almost nonexistent. Seemingly the motion to relocate 
was the desire to remove the temptation of the hotel. 22 p40 

There is more than one way to solve a problem. On the 20th day of 
January 1842, St. John's Masonic Lodge was installed at Carleton Place, 
prompting one participant to comment: 

We are happy to find that the Lodge of St. John has resolved to give 
enemies no handle against them on the point of spirituous liquors at their 
meetings, having resolved, as far as possible, to hold them in a private 
house. 41 * 242 

The information pamphlet given to visitors to Black Creek Masonic 
Lodge says that the Masonic Lodge room was a place where members of 
the fraternity could gather to share an evening of gentle friendship in the 
flicker of the oil lamp. It was a place where social rank evaporated, 
where all sectors of the community could meet on the level. It was a 
place where the hardship of pioneer life could be forgotten and where 
plans might be made to help the widow and the orphan or those in 

In his address to die annual communication in July, 1867 the Grand 
Master said: Every warranted Lodge under this jurisdiction has, doubt- 
less, its little list of widows and orphans, whom it gladly relieves to the 
utmost extent of its ability; and this Grand Body (Canada), also has 
never yet turned a deaf ear to the appeal of poverty or distress. ,7p146 

Benevolence took many forms and these are examples taken from 
lodge minutes, histories or other literature. 

Benevolence in 1866 from Grand Lodge was: 

a. to the wife of a brother in need; 

b. to a brother in reduced circumstances; 

c. to the daughter of a late brother; 

d. to eight brothers of passed brothers. 
The amounts ranged for twenty to fifty dollars. 4 

Moved that the sum of Twenty dollars be appropriated to the relief 
ofBro.Dennott. 59Scpt2U866 

On Oct. 19, 1866, visiting Bro. Dick gave the secretary the sum of 
$7.00 and Bro. Home handed in the sum of fifty cents to be given to Bro. 
Dermott. 59 

On Jan. 18, 1867, the committee appointed to pay the money 
apportioned for the relief of Bro. Dermott reported that the same had 
been paid at the rate of two dollars per week. 59 

Charles D. Macdonnell, D.D.G.M. of Ontario District, in his report 
to the 1866 Grand Lodge Communication said: I received an application 
from J.B. Hall Lodge No. 145, Millbrook, to hold a Festival on the 28th 



day of February, 1866, the proceeds to be devoted to the relief of a widow 
of a deceased brother, which I had great pleasure in granting. I am happy 
to say that the amount raised was greatly in excess of the sum that was 
expected. 4 

About this time, the City of Chicago was destroyed by fire after a cow 
owned by a Mrs. O'Leary kicked a lantern over in her barn. The members 
of Speed Lodge passed a motion to contribute the sum of $100 to the 
distressed brethren and their Chicago Relief Fund. 16 p14 

Request received from the Grand Secretary requesting aid towards 
Masonic Asylum Fund. Motion to send $10 approved and individual 
members be encouraged to aid the undertaking. A committee was set up 
to co-ordinate. 25 

The S.W. reported that he had collected $25.00 for Mrs and 

paid it over to her. An act of benevolence seems to have been quite the 
proper tiling to do. The writer lias seen and talked to the lady in question 
and rejoices to know her declining years are being spent in comfort. It 
took four ballots to elect the S.W. and three the J.W. 15 

Meeting of Jan. 3, 1884: Mrs. M.C. Wolfendon wrote the lodge 
thanking them for their kindness during the illness of the late Bro. 
Wolfendon and also for the payment on a policy in the Master Masons 
Benefit Association. 15 

This struck me as being very different and although it is out of the 
time frame of the paper, I include it: 

A brother who became a joining member 21 years before and who 
was now 47 years of age, made the lodge an unique offer, to wit; a 
mounted moosehead valued at $50 in exchange for past and future dues. 
The lodge was canny, however, and decided to inquire into this brother's 
financial circumstances before granting a life membership on these 
terms. At a subsequent meeting it was learned that the brother who 
offered the moosehead as a life membership fee had been burned out, that 
he had lost almost everything and there was no insurance. The lodge 
promptly made a grant of $25.00 to him. 15p111112 

It was moved that Bro 's little boy have a good warm winter 

suit of clothes made and that the same be paid for out of the funds of this 
lodge. The name occupying the blank, above, is that of a suspended P.M. 
and charter member, and who could not control his desire for strong 
drink. A graceful and becoming act and one that makes us proud of being 
craftsmen and members of Composite Lodge. 15p74 

It was decided to purchase a cow, the price not to exceed ten pounds 
and present it to the widow of the late Bro. Motherwell for the benefit of 
herself and family. 7 



Sept. 14, 1869 received a request from Waddel Lodge No. 228, 
Gordonsville, Virginia, asking aid to erect a hall. Denied. 35 

The lodges often acted on behalf of their members. 

Motion to send a letter to a lodge in California (Ontario). The late 
George Smyth had died there. The letter was to determine if he were a 
Mason, did he leave property, and if so to take the necessary steps to get 
that property to his real brother here in Perth. 25 MyU mi 

Although most of the local lodge activities took place in private, 
there were many instances where lodge activities were before the public 
eye. Such as: 

Dispensation was granted to Montreal Kilwilling Lodge to hold a 
Masonic picnic and procession on June 25, St. John Baptist Day. 1 

From the St. John, N.B. Telegraph: The Masonic Pic-Nic at Sussex. 
The Pic-Nic under the banners of the Union Lodge of Portland took 
place. Some 500 persons took the train and they were received by the 
officers and members of Zion Lodge No. 965. After a sumptuous lunch, 
a combination of the best musical talent, selected from the city bands, 
and the band of H.M. 15th Regiment rendered music for the occasion. 
There followed a real live and merry dance upon the Village Green. It 
was remarked that the wines were of the choicest description. There were 
games. Some events were archery, throwing heavy hammer, tlirowing 
light liammer, putting heavy stone, putting light stone, 200 yard race, one 
mile race, three-legged race and running jump 18 p30,31 

The public was enthusiastic about public events such as military 
parades and public holiday celebrations. In 1861 the news of victory in 
a provincial election led to celebration in Cobourg which included a 
torchlight parade led by the town band. The parade included a coffin 
supposed to contain the remains of the defeated leader, George Brown. 
The parade was followed by a bonfire, and fireworks * 

Even executions were public events. When Dr. George King was 
hanged at Coburg in June 1859 many people traveled all night to be 
present, and 10,000 persons, including 500 women, saw the murderer 
pay the penalty; even schools were closed because of the general exodus 
toward the place of execution. Such an event was always expected to 
produce a speech from the murderer; warning his hearers to avoid the 
pitfalls which liad brought him to the gallows and this execution ran true 
to form. 36 p349 

Dr. Samuel Johnson is quoted by the author, Edwin C. Guillet: Sir, 
executions are intended to draw spectators. If they don't draw spectators 
they don't answer their purpose. 36 pM9 

The lodge celebration of the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, on 



December 27, 1859 took place as follows: Meet at lodge hall— 
refreshments-Procession to Railway Station to meet the brethren of St. 
John's Lodge of Carlton Place— Procession to St. Andrew's Church- 
Chaplain preached an edifying and appropriate sermon.— Then proceed 
to Robertson's Hall-enjoyed a good dinner with the usual toasts —number 
of good and characteristic songs were sung to enliven the occasion.— went 
to railway station-Carlton Place brethren left in harmony and love for 
their homes. 25 

True Briton's Lodge was given dispensation to march in procession 
to church, to celebrate the festival of St. John the Evangelist as above. 
This was in the report of G. F. LaSerre, D.D.G.M. of Central District. 1 

Compare these two viewpoints: 

In the 1860 Grand Lodge Proceedings appeared the report of Francis 
Richardson, D.D.G.M. of Toronto District. Dispensation was granted for 
five country lodges to hold Masonic Balls; and, in June five country 
lodges were given dispensation to hold processions. If dispensations were 
given only when three or more lodges agree to unite in their celebrations, 
I dunk it would be attended with better effects and prevent the craft from 
being brought so frequently and prominently before the public. 1 

In 1995 M. W.Bro. C. Grant Wardlaw, Grand Master of British 
Columbia reported that he had given permission upon request to districts 
and lodges to participate in regalia in parades and ceremonies in their 
respective communities. He maintained that Community involvement, my 
brethren, can only enhance the image oj your freemasonry^ lp8a 

A series of musical and literary entertainments under auspices of 
Norfolk Masonic Lodge will be given in the Masonic Hall. 45Feb21876edition 

The most frequent involvement with the public was with funeral 

Emergent meeting called Oct. 19, 1858 to announce death of a 
worthy brother and to vote on wearing of Mourning for one week. Only 
business. Masonic service held Oct. 21. 25 

Jan. 25, 1860. Funeral of W.M.Langstaff. Brethren from Composite, 
McGivern and other visiting lodges joined in procession through Main 
Street of village. 59 

Sept. 7, 1863. W.I.Morris looked after the funeral arrangements for 
Bro. Murray. Bills passed included $22.50 to Mrs. Fraser (who ran a 
boarding house on Drummond St.) $2.50 for Burial Ground and $2.00 
for laying out and dressing deceased. 

Lodges looked after their own in times of need. This death is not 
recorded in the local doomsday book kept now in the Matheson museum 
in Perth. 



The funeral procession (for Charles Sharpe, a Charter Member of 
Speed Lodge) was a long one, including 40 carriages, besides members 
of the Masonic fraternity who were on foot. 16p3 

The meeting was called to conduct the funeral of Bro. T.W. Clegg. 
Thirty members and 29 visitors were present. The Whitby Brass Band 
were again considered necessary for the proper conduct of the funeral. 
The cost of the band to the lodge for a similar event was $10.00 ,5p82 

March 1863. A Letter was received from secretary of Renfrew Lodge 
informing the lodge that a former member of True Briton's had died and 
was being brought back to Perth for interment by Renfrew brethren. It 
was decided that Perth brethren would go to Smiths Falls to meet the 
funeral, and if all was correct, would join it as Masons. This happened 
and the brother was buried in Perth with Masonic honours. Perth 
supplied dinner and refreshments for Renfrew brethren. Bill for $5 for 
food was approved as well as a bill for digging the grave. 25 

On a happier note local lodges sponsored festivals and balls. 

Masonic Festival at Elora: It was reported that on Oct. 26, 1868 a 
festival under the auspices of Irvine Lodge, Elora took place. The 
ceremony of installation of officers took place at 3 p.m., as well as the 
W.M. of Mount Forest Lodge. The Grand Lodge Officers were escorted 
from the residence of Bro. Charles Clarke by the brethren formed into 
procession, which was a very imposing one. After the installation the 
new lodge room was consecrated and dedicated. In the evening, the 
brethren present, who were clothed in full Masonic regalia, and a large 
representation of the fair sex and guests heard an interesting and 
instructive lecture on Masonry delivered by V.W.Bro. Klotz. There 
followed a ball and lunch. The company broke up at an early hour with 
the unanimous expression that this affair was the best ever attempted in 
Elora. 30 p30 

Dec. 6, 1860 Ball to be held Jan. 19 at Wellington Hotel. 59 

A Masonic Festival was held on February 9, 1866. It was probably 
a ball, as the dispensation still preserved in the archives, permitted the 
wearing of Masonic clothing. It was not a financial success and the 
members of the committee had to make up the deficiency from their own 
pockets. ,5p73 

At the Jan. 7, 1869 meeting of the same lodge: The lodge decided to 
hold another ball and appointed a committee of twelve to make 
arrangements. The lodge was not to be held responsible for any deficit 
that might arise, but if there was any surplus, said surplus was to become 
part of die lodge funds. Rather an unequal arrangement, one might think, 



but this peculiar ball netted the lodge $63.37 which was devoted to 
charitable purposes. l5p77,78 

At the January 6, 1870 meeting another ball was authorized and a 
committee of 23 appointed to make the arrangements. Same 
arrangements as last year. 15p79 

On February 15, 1869 a Masonic ball under the auspices of King 
Hiram Lodge No. 37 and St. John's Lodge No. 68 was held at the Music 
Hall at the Royal Hotel in Ingersoll. At a little after nine the brethren 
entered the room in full procession, the master masons first, then those 
of the H.R.A., and preceding the Worshipful Masters, several Knights 
Templar in their rich regalia. The lines immediately formed and under 
R. W.Bro. Harris, Grand Secretary, the public honours were given. The 
grand honours having been given, V. W.Bro. Brown, in a few appropriate 
remarks welcomed those present, and hoped that all would join in 
tripping the light fantastic toe to their heart's content. In a moment the 
Band struck up a Quadrille, and the Knight's Templar, following the 
example of dieir genial superior, T.B. Harris, unbuckled their swords and 
joined in the mazes of the dance. Altogether there were 270 present. In 
due course supper made its appearance, and when due justice was done 
to the same, it soon disappeared. Shortly after the music resumed and 
dance after dance followed. At last, however, the wee small hours arrived 
and gradually the guests departed, inwardly thinking of the Junior 
Warden's Toast: Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again. 21 p76 

On Jan. 16, 1867, Masons give large ball at Music Center under the 
patronage of M. W.Bro. Col. Win. M. Wilson. The ball was the most 
brilliant and successful that had taken place in town in many years. 

The stage at the east end of the hall was used as a dias on which 
various Masonic emblems were tastefully arranged and over which the 
Royal Arms and the motto The Queen and the Craft were placed along 
with that famous symbol, the Gridiron. The walls were decorated with 
the National colours and festoons of evergreens, interspersed with costly 
engravings and Masonic emblems and mottoes which had a pleasing 
effect. A large number of Chinese lanterns of various hues were 
suspended from the ceiling, winch added to the large lamps gave the 
room a most brilliant appearance. The hall reminded one of some of the 
fairy scenes so aptly portrayed by the Eastern writers; and reflected great 
credit on the artistic skill of the Brethren who decorated it. 

About eight o'clock the company began to arrive and shortly before 
nine the Grand Master, after a few remarks, proclaimed the ball opened 
and soon after dancing commenced to the inspiring music of the Simcoe 
Quadrille Band. With alacrity those present engaged in the graceful whirl 



of the mazy dance. Who could describe the beautiful scene here 
presented. It was bewitching, it was enchanting. A list of those present 
followed. It included Masons, guests and Military. About 12 o'clock the 
assemblage repaired to the large dining room of the Norfolk House where 
a sumptuous repast was provided. --Suffice to say that every delicacy was 
provided that could tempt the palate of the most fastidious. After supper 
dancing was resumed until nearly four o'clock. 48 JmU867 

I never met a Canadian girl who could not dance and dance well. It 
seems born in them, and it is their favourite amusement. Balls given on 
public days, such as the Queen's birthday and by societies such as the 
Freemasons, the Oddfellows, and the Firemen's, are composed of very 
mixed company, and the highest and the lowest are seen in the same 
room. 32p64 

At a Freemason's ball some years ago, a very amusing thing took 
place. A young handsome women, still in her girlhood had brought her 
baby, which she carried into the ballroom. On being asked to dance, she 
was rather puzzled what to do with the child; but seeing a young lawyer, 
one of the elite of the town standing with folded arms looking on, she ran 
across the room, and putting her baby into his arms, exclaimed: "You are 
not dancing, sir, pray hold my baby for me till the next quadrille is over." 
Away she skipped back to her partner, and left the gentleman 
overwhelmed with confusion, while the room shook with peals of 
laughter. Making the best of it, he danced the baby to the music, and kept 
it in good humour until its mother returned. "I guess," she said, "that you 
are a married man?" "Yes", said he returning the child, "and a Mason." 
"Well I thought as much anyhow, by the way you acted with the baby." 
"My conduct was not quite free from selfishness--I expect a reward." "As 
how?" "Tliat you will give the baby to your husband, and dance the next 
with me." "With all my heart. Let us go ahead." 32 

Defense rested on a decreasing number of British battalions in 
garrison and the Canadian miliua. The Militia Act was amended in 1855 
and 1856 authorizing an active and enlarged militia. In 1861 a Minister 
of Militia to assume local responsibility was appointed. 58 p9 

The militia was a major factor in the development of the Perth area. 
Enlisted men were given 100 acres and officers 1,000 acres as well as 
half pay as members of the militia. All men from 26 to 65 were enrolled 
in the militia. 36 

The Perth Courier of Jan. 31, 1862, reported: The Fifth Battalion, 
Lanark, which was volunteer and commanded by Lt. Col. Fraser was 
formed. John Hart (a past master of True Briton's Lodge) was ensign." 44 

It is apparent that many members of True Briton's Lodge were 



involved in the militia from the entry in the minutes dated Nov. 3, 1862 
which states: Colonel Wylie was here to inspect the Perth Rifle Company 
so there was no meeting. 25 

Masons were widely involved. Lieutenant Colonel David McCrae in 
1865 became a 1st lieutenant in the militia to organize the first Garrison 
Battery in Guelph to repel the threatened Fenian raids. ,6p5 

James Webster served in the Gore militia, the Waterloo militia, and 
in 1853 he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Wellington 
Militia. 16p4 

Our first Grand Master had for some time prior to the out-break of 
rebellion (1837) had taken the keenest interest in the local militia and 
had organized and drilled a troop of cavalry at Simcoe When the 
smouldering embers blazed forth into rebellion, he and his men were 
ready. He was accorded the rank of Captain, Ins unit was assigned for 
patrol work at various points in the Niagara district and was engaged in 
active combat. 1 4p26 

One of the most visible of the activities of local lodges was the laying 
of cornerstones. The following gives an indication of the extent of this 

In September, 1854 an invitation was received from Brockville to 
join them in laying the foundation stone for the tunnel in Brockville for 
the Brockville and Ottawa Railway. 24 

On June 21st., 1858 the Lodge was invited to assist at the laying of 
the Corner Stone of the Episcopal Church at 9 a.m. in full regalia. 25 

Invitation received from Lanark to attend cornerstone laying 
sometime in June for Presbyterian Church of Canada/Church of 
Scotland. 25 

Two important occasions graced by his presence (Grand Master 
Wilson) were the cornerstone laying in connection with a new prison in 
Toronto on October 25th, 1859, and a similar function at Hamilton on 
Victoria Day, 1860, when the cornerstone of Hamilton Crystal Palace 
waslaid. ,4p103 

On Tues., July 23, 1863, the cornerstone of the new courthouse was 
laid by the Warden, Col. W.M.Wilson, under Masonic auspices. It was 
a great day for the town, one of the greatest in its history. The weather 
was ideal; the attendance from both town and country was enormous; the 
proceedings had all the glamour that the sublime ritual of the venerable 
Order could produce; the military display by the volunteer soldiers of the 
community was brilliant; the music was inspiring; the oration by Rev. 
Dr. Egerton Ryerson was of the highest type; and all seemed willing to 



forget the calamity of the past in the joy of the present and the bright 
hopes of the future. 37 

On the 1st of July the first cornerstone was laid with Masonic 
honours, witnessed by a group of several hundred people. At 1 p.m. on 
Dominion Day 1876, the members of Grand Lodge were convened in 
special session in the Chapter Rooms of the Masonic Chambers, corner 
of Windham Street and Market Square (in Guelph) while other visiting 
Brethren and members of the Town lodges met in the Town Hall. After 
forming in procession at the Hall, the membership of the Craft marched 
to Speed Lodge and escorted the Grand Lodge members to the 
construction site. The procession was marshaled by Sir Knight J. W. 
Jessop of Guelph, P.W. of the Detroit Commandery, and was led by a 
cornet band. At the site the ceremony of the laying of the cornerstone 
concluded when die Grand Master then spread the mortar on the bed on 
which the stone had to rest, and gave the order for it to be lowered. At his 
command, the plumb, the square, and the level were applied to the stone, 
which was found to be true in all its parts. The Grand Master hit his 
gavel three times and declared the stone to be well made, truly laid, true 
andtrusty. ,6pl5 

This last item indicates that the final laying of the stone is to be done 
by the most senior mason present, and helps us to understand the 
controversy surrounding the laying of the cornerstone of the new 
Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. 

In 1860 His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales came on a visit to 
Canada. The Prince landed at Quebec, where he was joined by Sir John 
A. Macdonald. He was received politely, and then on by boat to Montreal 
where he opened the Victoria Bridge. He then went to Ottawa where he 
laid the Cornerstone of the new Parliamentary Buildings. All went well. 58 


But did it? An incident of the year 1860 is worth relating as it 
indicates the phase of opposition to which our brethren of Eastern 
Canada have then and since been subjected. H.R.H. Prince of Wales was 
touring Canada for the first time. 

The Government authorities at Ottawa had arranged that on die 
occasion of his visit to the Capital, the Cornerstone of the Parliamentary 
Buildings would be laid, and it was understood that they were favourable 
to die Masonic Fraternity taking part in the ceremony. The Grand Lodge 
was duly summoned and assembled to that end, but in the meantime, the 
powerful influence of the Roman Catholic Church had been used to such 
an extent Uiat die officers of the Masonic body were quieUy told that their 
services could not be utilized on the occasion. 55 *** 



Masons were invited to take part in the ceremony but H.R.H. Albert 
Edward, Prince of Wales was to actually lay the stone. The Grand Master 
of the Grand Lodge of Canada, T. Douglas Harington took the position 
that as a body, the Craft could not be present; that unless to take a 
prominent part they could not appear publicly as Freemasons. The Grand 
Master sent a circular letter to all lodges explaining the disappointment 
and the situation. (This letter is included in the True Briton's No. 14, 
minute book.) 25 

Markham Union No. 87 held an emergent meeting on Aug. 29, 1860. 
The sole purpose of the meeting was to discuss and decide on the 
following motion winch was passed. That this lodge do not send any 
deputation to Ottawa on the occasion of laying of foundation stone of the 
new Parliament Buildings by H.R.H. Prince of Wales. 59 

The general mailing from the Grand Master was received in 
Markham on Dec. 21, 1869. 59 

H.R.H., Arthur Albert, Prince of Wales was 18 years of age at the 
time and not a Mason. The dispute was not between him but rather 
between the Government of Canada officials and the Grand Lodge of 
Canada. But there is more to consider. 

But the trouble that was brewing broke at Kingston. There, as in 
Eastern Upper Canada generally, the Loyal Orange Lodge was very 
strong and active. The lodges were determined to show their loyalty and 
to receive consideration equal to that already shown the Roman Catholic 
Church. 8 p86 

The Prince of Wales was still aboard ship in Kingston harbour, along 
with Sir John A. Macdonald. The Loyal Orange Lodge was not 
recognized in England at the time and the Prince would not go ashore if 
public displays of loyalty towards him by the Orange Order took place. 
Sir John went ashore to resolve things, but the Prince and Ins boat left 
both Kingston and the Canadian Prime Minister behind, much to his 
chagrin. This series of event raises questions. Why didn't historical 
writers mention the Masonic controversy in Ottawa, but mention the 
problems in Kingston with the Orange Lodge? Where was Sir John A. 
Macdonald in all this? After all he had been a Mason since 1844 and 
remained a Mason until his death in 1891? Included in his official papers 
are three letters about the visit of the Prince of Wales but these are about 
logistics and dress and not relevant to tins discussion. It is interesting to 
note that the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, was 
Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England from 1874 to 
1897. 54 



This incident (Kingston) showed the Crown's resolve to remain 
strictly neutral in the face of rabid provincial sectarianism. 42 

Masons were also loyal and wished to honour H.R.H. the Prince of 

The report of Samuel B. Harman, D.D.G.M., Toronto District in the 
1861 Proceedings includes reference to the cordial response of the 
Toronto Masons to my suggestion to raise a triumphal arch on the 
occasion and in honour of the visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince of 
Wales, under the immediate direction of the V.W.Bro. Storm, Grand 
Superintendent of Works, who prepared the design, aided by the 
contributions and hearty cooperation of the entire lodges and fraternity 
and an arch was erected on this auspicious occasion of appropriate design 
and beauty. 2 

There is a photograph on page 44 of The History of York Lodge 
which shows this arch with this caption below: The great Masonic arch 
over King Street bespeaks the enthusiasm of the brethren of that time. 

The arch is about five stories high. 


Freemasonry certainly was active in the 1860's as we have observed, 
making a significant contribution to society. But little was reported by the 
newspapers in the small towns about Masonic activities, other than the 
social events sponsored by the local lodges. Why was this? Was it 
because they were doing nothing newsworthy? Was it because Masons 
were reluctant to tell what they were doing? Masonry doesn't get much 
coverage in the media today. Why not? Can we change this? Do we want 
to? How? Something else to think about. 

The real contribution was not by the local lodges directly, but 
through their members. The heart of Masonry is in the hearts of its 
members. That's what Masonry really is. It's the men in it. 31 pI7 " 

Much lias been written about Freemasons who have been outstanding 
men in their respective realms of activities. A book written in 1959 by 
William R Denslow entitled 10,000 Famous Freemasons is indicative of 
the extent of the work of Freemasons We are familiar with some 
outstanding Freemasons but not so familiar with others. Earlier we 
learned of the extensive involvement of Masons in the Canadian militia. 
The following Masons made significant contributions to society in their 
own way: 

Truman Pennock White. Originally was a farmer but became very 
involved in business in the local village of Majorville (now Whitevale). 
Served on the Township Council for 20 years, 16 as Reeve and in 1861 



was Warden of the County of Ontario. He owned a woollen mill, grist 
mill and sawmill. After a fire in 1882 he moved to Manitoba. 22 

Daniel Matthews. Master of Norfolk Lodge 10 in 1863-1864. On 
Tues. Sept. 28, 1869, H.R.H. Prince Arthur, son of Queen Victoria and 
Sir John Young, the Governor-General of Canada visited Simcoe. There 
was a procession, dinner at the Norfolk House Hotel, then the party 
assembled on the balcony of the hotel, where an address of welcome was 
read by Darnel Matthews, the Warden of the County. 37 

AJ.Donly, another Past Master of Norfolk Lodge, taught school in 
Merrickville before coining to Siincoe in 1857 where he taught in the 
public school. He was Superintendent of die Methodist Sunday School for 
40 years prior to his death on March 19, 1908. 37 

James Murison Dunn, first Worshipful Master of Speed Lodge was 
headmaster of the Wellington District Grammar School, now the Guelph 
Collegiate Vocational Institute. ,6pl 

James Spreight. The Spreight Wagon Works was managed by Mr. 
James Spreight who was born in Markham in 1830 and attended school 
until 15 years of age. He then worked with his father, Thomas, in the old 
factory and learned the business. He was the first Reeve of the Village in 
1873 and held the Reeveship for 10 years. He was High School trustee, 
Secretary Treasurer of the Township Agricultural Society and a member 
of the Masonic and Oddfellows lodge. He was active in the first 
Markham Fair in 1852. The records for 1852 are lost and the first official 
Markham Fair was in 1856. James Speight carried on the business from 
his father and it became at one time, the largest wagon industry in 
Ontario. 62 

William Mercer Wilson. There is a second bust of Win. Mercer 
Wilson, executed in 1877 in honour of his long service as Chairman of 
the Board of School Trustees. It was originally in the Lecture Room of 
the Public School, later in the high school and at one time is said to have 
been in the Masonic Hall, now on the outside wall of Museum. The bust 
was done by Mr. Samuel Gardner, who had done a bust of Sir. John A. 
Macdonald just prior to 1869. 45 

John Hart, who was Worshipful Master of True Briton's No. 14 in 
1862 was the publisher of Hart's Canadian Almanac and ran a book shop 
in Perth. He was also active in the militia. 44 

Henry Groff, master of Norfolk Lodge No. 10 in 1861-1862, was 
elected Grand Treasurer in 1869. He was editor and publisher of the 
Refonner from 1872 to 1881, ran a bookstore and was Registrar of Deeds 
for Norfolk County. 51 

Donald McMurchey, who was Worshipful Master of Markham Union 



No. 87 Lodge six years during the 1860's. He was also Worshipful Master 
of Richardson Lodge, StourxVille in 1868 and 1869 at the same time he 
was Master of Markham Union. He was a fanner in Pickering Township 
and also a partner in a tannery in Stouffville. 22 

Henry Ryan Corson had many interests. He was a leading promoter 
of the first Markham Grammar School and a trustee. He was a promoter 
of one of the first telegraph lines in Canada-from Whitby to Markham. 
He was a shareholder in the Markham Plank Road Co. He was a director 
of the Speight Mfg. Co. He was a director of the East York and the 
Markham Agricultural Societies and secretary for a time. A strong 
advocate of the incorporation of Markham Village, Mr. Corson acted as 
clerk for many years. He was a Freemason, and the first member initiated 
into Markham Union Lodge. He was a staunch Liberal, and personal 
friends of leaders of that party and was a warm personal friend of Sir 
Jolin A. Macdonald. He was editor of the Markham Economist from 1867 
until his death in 1909. In 1860 Mr. Corson went to the Cariboo for the 
gold rush. When he returned he had $35 worth of gold dust and a small 
nugget. 62 

Sir John A. Macdonald was initiated in St. John's Lodge No. 758 
(English) on March 14, 1844. In 1856 he was appointed to represent the 
Grand Lodge of England near the Grand Lodge of Canada. 56 

His contribution to Canada was outstanding. What is intriguing is 
why lus involvement with the Masonic Fraternity was not mentioned by 
historians of the period such as George Woodcock, Edwin C. Guillet, 
W.L.Morton or even by lus biographer, Donald Creighton. Something 
else to ponder. 

The last two are unsung heroes who shouldn't be. 

A Faithful Worker. A member of Holly Springs Lodge, in 
Mississippi, who was 82 years old, and 61 years a Mason, who set type 
every day, and set apart one-third of his wages for the benefit of Masonic 
widows and orphans. ,7p2INov ,5 * ,867edltlon 

Bro. Thomas Brooke. Member of True Briton's Lodge and Clerk of 
the Town. 44 

In early 1864 the lodge was brought into disrepute by one of its 
members who was suspended and reported to the Grand Lodge. Tins 
situation resulted in the lodge ceasing to meet. 25 

In 1865 True Briton's was over 12 months in arrears and was to show 
cause why their warrant should not be surrendered. 3 

There were no meetings until 1869 when Bro. Thomas Brooke got 
the lodge together again and arranged a settlement with Grand Lodge. 25 

His successful efforts to get the lodge meeting again made it possible 
for True Briton's and Masonry to continue in Perth to tlus day. 



Local Masonic lodges certainly played a role in the 
development of Canada during the 1860's, but what was that 
role? What was a Masonic Lodge in the 1860's? 

The answer to these questions lies in the hearts of its 
members past and present, who have found within its walls 
something which satisfied a need, and from which they have 
got what they were prepared to give. 57 

That, I submit, was the principal role of the Masonic local 
lodges in the life of small communities in Ontario during the 
1860's. I leave it for you to decide if, indeed, it is today still 
the role of Masonic lodges in Ontario. 


1. Grand Lodge A.F.& A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Proceedings 1860. 

2. Ibid, 1861 

3. Ibid, 1865 

4. Ibid, 1866 

5. Ibid, 1867 

6. A History of York Lodge No. 1 56. 

7. Lodge History of True Briton's Lodge No. 14, Perth. 

8. Lodge History of Richmond Lodge No. 23, York. 

9. Dominion of the North, Donald Creighton, MacMillan of Canada. 

10. A Social History of Canada, George Woodcock, Viking/Penguin Books. 

11. Canada: Unity in Diversity, Cornell, Hamelin, Ouellet, Trudel. 
Holt Rinehart Winston. 

12. Canada: The Heroic Beginnings. Donald Creighton, MacMillan of Canada. 

13. Domestic Life in Nineteenth Century Canada, 
Abrahamson, Burns & MacEachem Ltd. 

14. First Grand Master. Bruce M. Pearce, Norfolk Lodge No. 10, Second Edition 
Pearce Publishing Co. Ltd. 

15. One Hundred and One Years of Craft Masonry in the Town of Whitby, 

Geo. W.P.Every (History of Unity Lodge 1 826-5 1 and Composite Lodge 1 852-27). 

16. Speed Lodge: The Mother of Guelph Masonry, Henry Law, A Lodge History. 

1 7. The Craftsman and British American Masonic Record, 
Vol. l.Oct. 1, 1866 to Sept. 1867. 

18. Ibid, Nov. 15, 1867 edition. 

19. Ibid, Apr. 15, 1868 edition. 

20. Ibid, Nov. 15, 1868 edition. 

21. Ibid, Feb. 1 5, 1 869 edition. 

22. Markham Union Lodge No. 87, M. Alfred N. Shenfield, Historian. 
A Lodge History (1983). 

23. North Toronto, Donald H. Ritchie, 1 SBN 1 -55046-OH-O. 
A Boston Mills Press Book, Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd. 



24. True Briton's Lodge No. 14, 1968, A Lodge History. 

25. Minutes, True Briton's Lodge No. 14, Perth. 

26. Ontario, 1610-1985, A Political and Economic History, 
Randall White Ontario Heritage Foundation 

27. Flashback Canada, Cruxton and Wilson, Oxford University Press, Toronto. 

28. Our Cultural Heritage, Sonia A. Riddock, Clarke, Irwin & Co. Ltd. 

29. Building the Canadian Nation, Geo. W.Brown, J.M. Dent and Sons. 

30. The Developing Canadian Community, S.D.Clark, University of Toronto Press. 

31. A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right, John J. Robinson, 
M. Evans and Co. Inc. 

32. Life in the Clearings, Susanna Moodie, 971 .3. The MacMillan Co. of Canada 

33. Address delivered by V. W.Bro. Otto Klotz, Dec. 27, 1 864, 
Ladies Night Alma Lodge No. 39, Gait. 

34. Preliminary Reports and Fraternal Reviews to the One Hundred and Fortieth 
Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, AF. and A.M. of Canada 

in the Province of Ontario, 1995. 

35. Minutes. Norfolk Lodge No. 10, Simcoe, Ontario. 

36. Early Life in Upper Canada, Edwin C. Guillet 

37. Simcoe and Norfolk County (1924) History (m Simcoe Library). 

38. Perth, Tradition & Style (A Local History) in Matheson Museum Perth. 

39. Perth Remembered, edited by Edward Short, 1 867. 

40. Smith Falls: A social History of the Men and Women in A Rideau Canal 
Community 1794-1994, Glenn J. Lockwood Heritage House, Smiths Falls. 

41 . Beckwith, Glenn J. Lockwood, available from Beckwith Township Office, 
Carleton Place, Ontario. 

42. Loyal She Remains: A Pictorial History of Ontario, 
The United Empire Loyalists Assn. of Canada. 

43. South Elmsley .. James R. Kennedy, Township of South Elmsley, Lombardy, Ont. 

44. Perth Courier Newspaper Microfiche Records, Algonquin College Library, Perth 

45. The British Canadian Newspaper, Feb.2, 1876, 
Eva Brook Donly Museum, Simcoe, Ont. 

46. Ibid, Oct 3, 1866 

47. Ibid, Jan 2, 1867 

48. Ibid, Jan. 16, 1867. 

49. Ibid, July 24, 1867. 

50. Ibid, Apr. 28, 1869. 

51. Ibid, July 21, 1869. 

52. Simcoe and Norfolk County (1924) A Local History, 
Eva Brook Donly Museum Simcoe, Ont. 

53. The British Canadian y Aug.25, 1 869, Eva Brook Donly Museum Simcoe, Ont. 

54. Highways and By-ways of Freemasonry, J.P.Lawrence. 

SPCL HS 397 L397-1954 Brock University, Special Collections. 

55. A Concise History of Freemasonry in Canada, Geo. J Bennett SPC/Hs557s496. 

56. 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Vol. 3, K-P 1959. William R Denslow. 

57. The History of Lake Lodge of Osher No. 85, 1864-1989. 
Bro. A.J.DeLaMare, Queenstown, N.Z. 

58. The Critical Years, W L.Morton, The Union of British North America 1857-1973. 
McClelland and Stewart Ltd. 

59. Minutes, Markham Union Lodge No. 87, Markham, Ontario. 

60. Markham 1793-1900, Isabell Champion, Editor. 
The Markham District Historical Society. 

61. Markham Remembered, Mary B. Champion, Editor, 
The Markham District Historical Society. 

62. History of Markham (author unknown). Local History Collection, 
Markham Public Library. 

63. The Papers of the Prime Ministers, Vol. II. The Letters of Sir John A. Macdonald, 
1858-1861, Public Archives of Canada 1869. 



by the Late Bro. George E. Thorman 
(Presented by W.Bro. Donald L Cosens) 

The Heritage Lodge Annual Banquet 

Scarborough Masonic Temple 

January 29, 1997 


Charles Spencer Duncombe, the oldest of five children of Thomas 
Duncombe and Rlioda Tyrrell, was bom in Stratford, Connecticut on July 
28, 1792. Within a few years the family moved to Stamford in Ulster 
County (in 1797 it became Delaware County), New York State. Several 
brothers of Thomas also settled in Stamford. The other children of 
Thomas and Rlioda were all bom in Stamford: Elijah Eli in 1795, Huldali 
in 1796, David in 1802, and Rlioda Eliza in 1895. Family records 
indicate that the mother was well educated, had a knowledge of herbs and 
had learned native remedies from die Indians. She had a great knowledge 
of midwifery. She taught the children at home and brought both Charles 
and Elijah to the state where they qualified to teach school. All of her 
medical knowledge would have been passed on to her children. About 
1812 Charles moved to Middleburgh in the adjoining County of 
Schoharie, a village about 35 miles northeast of Stamford, presumably to 
teach school. We do know that Elijah Eli taught school in Middleburgh 
in 1816. 

In Schoharie County, on June 6, 1813, probably in the village of 
Middleburgh, Duncombe married Nancy Haines and in the next five 
years there were three daughters: Eliza June born 4 July, 1814; Rlioda 
Maria baptized 27 April, 1816; and Nancy Catherine born 7 December, 
1818. What Charles worked at during the five years from 1813-1818, we 
do not know, but he may have taught school. 

The year 1818 was a decisive one for Duncombe. First he joined the 
Masonic Lodge. On July 4, 1818 he was initiated and on July 9 he was 
passed and raised, in Hicks Lodge No. 305 in Schoharie village. The 
annual returns for 1818-1819 show that he paid the initiation fee of $1.25 
and the registration fee of 12 cents. The annual returns for 1819-1820 do 
not list Duncombe as a member. Secondly he enrolled in the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York. The course he took 
covered a three month term. No record of his graduation has been found 



and it is assumed that he dropped out. At that time it was possible to 
practice medicine without a graduation certificate. Perhaps he did not 
have funds for further study, but more likely he felt that he knew enough 
to start his career, especially with the knowledge he had received from 
his mother. A journal she kept in St. Thomas from 1833 to 1841 
indicates that she was frequently employed as a midwife and nurse. 

In 1819 Duncombe came to Delaware Township in the London 
District and on October 5 appeared before the Medical Board at York and 
was found fit to practice Physics, surgery, and Midwifery, and received 
a certificate to that effect. 

His sister Huldah and brother David accompanied Charles to Upper 
Canada. Records show that Huldah married Henry Shenick, a widower 
who lived on Lot 28, Concession 1, Westminster, on January 27, 1820. ' 

During the winter of 1819-1820 Charles Duncombe returned to 
Middleburgh to pick up his wife and tliree daughters. We are not certain 
when Duncombe first came to St. Thomas but it was probably about 

In the Spring of 1822 Thomas Duncombe, the father of Charles, 
came to St. Thomas, perhaps accompanied by his second son Elijah Eli. 
Thomas died from spasms on October 13 of the same year and was buried 
in the St. Thomas Churchyard. 

During the winter of 1822-1823 Charles and Nancy, and Huldah and 
Henry Shenick went to Delaware County, New York and brought back to 
St. Thomas their mother Rlioda Duncombe and their youngest sister 
Rlioda Eliza. All members of the Thomas Duncombe family were now in 
Upper Canada. 

On August 21, 1823 Rlioda Duncombe wrote to her brothers (the 
Tyrrells) in Oluo. Tliis letter turned up only a few years ago and has been 
invaluable in clearing up details about the family. 2 

Charles Duncombe must have moved to St. Thomas between 1820 
and 1822. His mother's letter states that he is making a good income 
from medicine. "I have been to Charles's almost four weeks, he has never 
been home yet: he has been called first one way then another, once in the 
time (he) was sent for 100 miles: came back within 20 miles of home; 
then had to go about 50 or 60 miles off again. Elijah begins to practice 

This brings up the question of the relationship between Dr. 
Duncombe and his wife Nancy. On May 21, 1822, in St. Thomas, a son 
Charles Henry Duncombe was born, he being the fourth child of the 
marriage. At that time Nancy Duncombe was 30 or 31. The fact that 



there were no more children, unlike most marriages of that time when 
there was a cliild every two years, may indicate that the marriage was not 
a happy one. In a letter written by Colonel Talbot after a visit of Dr. 
Duncombe, Talbot states: as for Dr. C. Buncombe he has got a frightful 
wife, and is as often as he can be, on distant calls} Whatever was 
frightful about his wife - looks, temper, character, personality, we do not 
know, but the remark seems to indicate that the marriage was not 
congenial, to say the least. 

It is interesting to note tiiat his brother Elijah E. Duncombe received 
his degree as Doctor of Medicine from Fairfield College dated February 
1, 1831, and his certificate from the Medical Board at York in April 
1831; David received Ins certificate from York in 1828. Both had been 
practicing medicine for many years: Elijah in St. Thomas and David in 
St. Thomas and Norfolk. Elijah did take some courses in Fairfield in 
1829 and he, as well as David, studied under the aegis of their brother. 4 
Both Elijah and David practiced medicine successfully until they died, 
Elijah in 1870 and David in 1887, despite having followed the apprentice 
method of learning while one practiced. 


The earliest Masonic Lodge in this area was Southwold No. 14 
cliartered between August and December 1799 by the Provincial Grand 
Lodge of Upper Canada [1792-1822]. After 1801 the name was changed 
to Howard No. 14. It presumably met some place in the north part of 
Southwold Township at or near the Thames River. The first Master was 
James Fleming who claims the distinction of being the first white person 
to setde (in the Township of Aldborough), in what is now the County of 
Elgin, just 200 years ago, in 1796. 

There are references to Southwold Lodge in returns to the Grand 
Lodge from 1799 to 1805 and visitors from the Lodge are noted in the 
minutes of Zion Lodge No. 10, Detroit. John Ross Robertson in The 
History of Freemasonry in Canada notes that "It has always been 
understood that his Lodge favored the Schismatic Grand Lodge at 
Niagara (1802-1822)". 

The earliest Masonic Lodge in St. Thomas was chartered March 20, 
1818 with Mahlon Burwell as the first Master. His original Lodge was 
No. 9. The original certificates and an undated statement by Charles that 
Mr. Elijah E. Duncombe has studied Physics, Surgery, and Midwifery 
under my care for seven years are in the pioneer Museum in St. Thomas, 
Township of Bertie in the Niagara district, and because he had joined a 



Masonic Lodge he was expelled from the Quaker Meeting. Lodge No. 9 
is believed to have adhered to the Schismatic Grand Lodge and St. 
Thomas Lodge No. 30 was the last lodge to be chartered by the 
Schismatic Grand Lodge of Niagara. We have no written minutes of 
Southwold No. 14 but we do have fragments of records of St. Thomas 
No. 30 from 1818-1822. The original Charter still exists. Lodge No. 30 
ceased to operate after 1822, in part because the Treasurer absconded 
with the funds. 

Already a Mason, Duncombe was a prime mover in forming Mount 
Moriah Lodge in Westminster (now London) in 1820 and he was its First 
Worshipful Master. Instead of asking St. Thomas Lodge No. 30, a Lodge 
within a 25 mile radius, for recommendation to form, as was customary, 
Mount Moriah, asked Union Lodge No. 24 at Dundas to provide such 
formality. By this time Union Lodge of Dundas, (which had originally 
been warranted by the Schismatic Grand Lodge at Niagara), had accepted 
the principles set out by the Kingston Convention and the brethren (of 
Union Lodge) in their letter of recommendation stated that it was 
absolutely necessary that a Lodge should be established (at 

Westminster) there being no regular Lodge within twenty-five miles of 

the said place. In effect Dundas Lodge was stating that St. Thomas 
Lodge No. 30 was an irregular Lodge, and thus ignored it entirely. 

The first officers of Mount Moriah Lodge were Charles Duncombe, 
Worshipful Master; William Putnam, Senior Warden; and Gardner 
Myrick, Junior Warden. Among the members was Henry Shenick, 
Duncombe's brother-in-law. 

Although Duncombe had moved to St. Thomas by 1822, as far as we 
know, he never visited St. Thomas Lodge No. 30. After this Lodge failed 
there was no Masonic Lodge in St. Thomas until 1853 when St. Thomas 
Lodge No. 232 was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. 5 It is 
important to note that the Provincial Grand Lodge was not asked to 
sponsor St. Thomas Lodge No. 232, an indication that there was still 
some very bitter feelings about the Provincial-based Lodges controlled by 
the Grand Lodge of England. John Ellison in 1855, became the only 
member of the 1818 Lodge to join the new Lodge. Ellison had been a 
member of Middlesex Lodge No. 211, G.R.I, in Port Stanley since it 
formation in 185 1. 6 

In 1822 at the organizational meeting of the Second Provincial 
Grand Lodge under R.W.Bro. Simon McGillivray, the Provincial Grand 
Master, Duncombe was refused admittance. He pressed his position and 
stated that as a Past Master of an American jurisdiction 1 he should be 



allowed entry. He eventually gained admittance. 

James Fitzgibbon in a letter to the London Gazette of November 18, 
1837 states: Mr. Duncombe was a Brother Freemason of mine. He 
assisted me in organizing the Grand Lodge in the Province, some 12 or 
15 years ago and we have frequently sat in Lodges together. Fitzgibbon 
became the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of this newly formed Grand 
Lodge and he also served as Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for many 
years. By 1837, Duncombe and Fitzgibbon were political opposites. 


John Rolph (1793-1870) of Thornbury, Gloucester, England, well 
known to Canadians almost from the time he arrived in 1812, was to 
have a great impact on the life of Charles Duncombe. Rolph first settled 
in Norfolk County but shortly thereafter, on the urgings of Colonel 
Talbot, moved to Southwold. He served in the War of 1812 and from 
1818 to 1821 returned to England for further education. While there he 
qualified as both a doctor and lawyer, and returned to St. Thomas in 
1821 to follow his profession in medicine. 

The careers of Rolph and Duncombe were to be strangely paralleled 
They were bodi intelligent and well informed, and both were Reformers. 
Up to 1824 the representatives from Middlesex had been Tories. Mahlon 
Burwell, strongly supported by Colonel Talbot, had been elected several 

In 1824 Rolph and Duncombe suggested to Colonel Talbot that he 
become the Patron of the Talbot Dispensatory, a school for medical 
instruction. An advertisement in the Colonial Advocate of August 19 and 
Rolph's undated letter to Colonel Talbot announcing the Dispensatory 
proposition, are the only evidence that the Dispensatory ever existed. 

Despite the fact that the Talbot Dispensatory had no continuing 
history and no known graduates, this phantom school holds the 
reputation of being the first medical academy in Upper Canada. 8 These 
two doctors, John Rolph and Charles Duncombe, were certainly well 
qualified to be teachers — between them they had few equals in the 
province. Duncombe did teach his two brothers and. 

His friend Archibald Chisholm who became the first doctor in 
London. 9 Most historians feel that Rolph was promoting the Dispensatory 
as an electioneering ploy in the 1824 election. If that was his true aim, it 
was successful because Rolph and John Matthews, both Reformers 
defeated Mahlon Burwell who had represented this area since 1812. 




In 1828 Diincombe left St. Thomas and moved to Oxford County. No 
reasons have been given for the move, but he may have decided that 
Oxford offered more opportunities. His family responsibilities had 
lessened considerably. David had left for Norfolk County in the mid- 
1820's, and Dr. Elijah was well established in St. Thomas. His youngest 
sister Rlioda Eliza had married William Russell on January 10, 1825 and 
his mother had married Samuel Garnsey on June 23 of the same year. 
The Talbot Dispensatory had stopped operating, if, it had ever started, 
and Dr. Rolph and John Matthews had been re-elected in 1828. There 
was no apparent opportunity for a political career in Middlesex. Whether 
tins was a factor in prompting his move is conjectural, but Duncombe did 
throw himself into the political arena, at the first opportunity, in 1830, 
and was elected to represent Oxford. Mahlon Burwell and Rdsewell 
Mount, both Tories, were elected in Middlesex. 

The period from 1830 to 1837 was a constant, but optimistic struggle 
for the Reformers against the Family Compact. The central point was to 
transfer Duncombe. 

The right to determine how taxes were spent and the power to 
legislate from the appointed Legislative Council and give them to the 
elected Assembly. No member worked harder than Duncombe to attain 
these objectives. He was chairman of many committees. 

In letters of 1834 and 1835 to his brother Elijah he gives examples 
of his work and discusses his life in Toronto. In his letter of February 7, 
1835 he states: I am completely occupied during the day in the house and 
on committees and am required to write bills, reports, addresses, 
resolutions, and motions, almost all night, to be prepared for tomorrow, 
so that I have no time that I can call my own. 

I have taken a house at 25 Riclunond Street in Toronto where Maria, 
Catharine, and Charles live widi me. We have an old servant woman and 
live very plain, and I think some cheaper than to board out, yet the 
expenses are considerable — house rent and firewood exceed a dollar a 
day, then everyUung is as very dear. It is interesting to note that his wife 
is not with him, but perhaps it was because he felt that he could give the 
children a better education in Toronto. 

But as busy as Duncombe was, it was soon to get worse. On April 10, 
1835 the Assembly established a select committee to examine and 
investigate lunatic asylums, prisons, and school systems. The committee 
consisted of three doctors: Duncombe, Thomas David Morrison, and 



William Bruce. Duncombe did all the investigation during a tour of the 
United States and it was he who wrote the report on education which was 
presented to the Assembly in February, 1836. 

His reports were forward-looking and a model of common sense for 
a country such as Canada where lunatics were jailed, where criminals 
were flogged, and young-offenders were treated like hardened criminals. 
Though passed by die Assembly on April 4, his report was rejected by the 
Tory-packed Legislative Council. Many of his reforms for asylums, 
penitentiaries and the school system were introduced in later years, but 
Duncombe received little credit except from Egerton Ryerson who 
acknowledged lus debt to Duncombe when in the 1840's he laid the 
foundation for the education policy for Canada West that lasted until 

In the winter of 1835-1836 Duncombe was foremost in a group of 
Western Ontario Masons who met at London to establish an independent 
Grand Lodge in Upper Canada. Evidently the Kingston Convention 
wliich had issued the warrant for the formation of Mount Moriah Lodge 
and its successor, The Provincial Grand Lodge under Simon McGillivray, 
had ceased to give the leadership ~ which the members believed was 
necessary. The Grand Lodge was formed and Duncombe was elected 
Grand Master (and his brother Elijah was elected Grand Registrar), but 
before being installed, Duncombe became embroiled in a struggle with 
Francis Bond Head, the newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor of Upper 
Canada. Because of the Rebellion and the political situation in the 
province die plans never materialized and nothing more was heard of it. 

Bond Head was a very strange choice: a man without tact or any 
experience whatsoever in governing a colony. He had inherited in the 
election of 1834, an Assembly that had, for the first time, a majority of 
Reformers. With the bull-headed obstinacy and stupidity, which were 
characteristic of him, Bond Head dissolved the Assembly and called an 
election for June 1836, and contrary to constitutional law he took a very 
active part in the election and pointed out strongly that a vote for the 
Reformers was a vote against the Monarchy. 

The election was a crushing defeat for the Reformers who elected 
only 18 members to the Tories 44. Six of the 18 Reformers were from the 
London District: Elias Moore and Thomas Parke in Middlesex; John 
Rolph and David Duncombe in Norfolk; Robert Alway and Charles 
Duncombe in Oxford. The only Tory in the District was Mahlon Burwell, 
elected in London. 

The Reformers chose Duncombe to go to England and lay their 



complaints about Lieutenant Governor Bond Head's unorthodox and 
unconstitutional behaviour before the Colonial Secretary, Lord Glenelg. 
Lord Glenelg refused to see Duncombe personally, winch must have been 
a devastating blow to him. Although he had crossed the ocean to present 
the Reformers' case, all communication with Lord Glenelg was by letter. 
He had no recourse but to return home where, upon arrival, he 
received the sad news that his only son, Charles Henry age 14, had been 
killed by a fall from a horse on August 13, 1836. 


The death of his son, the failure of his mission, and the refusal of 
Lord Glenelg to see him personally were all heavy blows for Duncombe, 
and consequently he took little active part in the Assembly. The 
Reformers were split into divisive camps. Some wanted to pursue reform 
by constitutional means but others were willing to take stronger measures 
against the Lieutenant Governor. Duncombe was reluctant to foment 
rebellion despite his conviction that the Colonial Office had no sympathy 
for Reformers. Baldwin was determined to avoid any kind of armed 
conflict, but William Lyon Mackenzie, the Reform leader, was leaning 
more and more to active revolt. 

During the spring and summer of 1837 the Reformers held meetings 
to protest Bond Head's actions and plan what they would do. In the fall 
the meetings became more virulent. During September there were several 
meetings beginning with one at Sodom (Norwich) in Oxford County, on 
September 2 led by Eliakim Malcolm of Oakland where an enthusiastic 
crowd endorsed the declaration of the Reformers passed at a meeting in 
Toronto at Doel's Brewery on July 28. 

The next meeting was on September 9 at Sparta. Here the members, 
many of whom were armed, passed a series of resolutions concerning the 
reforms they wanted. David Anderson proposed the dangerous resolution 
that to presence peace and defend Her Majesty's subjects from 
assassination, it is absolutely necessary to form armed associations, and 
determinedly oppose force by force whenever our people are attacked in 
the peaceful exercise of their undoubted rights and privileges." 

The Reformers met again at Richmond in Bayham Township on 
September 23. The Tories decided to hold their own meeting led by John 
Burwell, Doyle McKenny, and Henry Medcalf, all members of the 
Second Middlesex Militia. They met earlier than the Reformers, and 
declared their loyally to the Government. The Reformers at their meeting 
passed the usual protest resolutions and then retired for refreshments to 



the same inn as the Loyalist supporters. A melee occurred after which the 
Tories had a magistrate read the Riot Act. Charges were laid but they 
never came to court because the Rebellion erupted. There were also 
several protest meetings in London. 

During the entire summer and early fall of 1837 Duncombe was not 
present at the Reformers protest meetings. The meetings in Oxford, on 
November 2 and November 16, were the first which he attended and 


Duncombe lias been called the reluctant rebel. He wanted reform but 
was really opposed to military action. There is no evidence that 
Mackenzie and Duncombe had concerted plans to follow or had planned 
simultaneous uprisings. Actually there were two separate uprisings. 
Mackenzie spent the months of October and November organizing a 
revolt in die Home District, and he alone picked the date of December 7 
to march down Yonge Street and take over the government and arrest 
Bond Head. Rolph had tried to persuade Mackenzie to launch his attack 
earlier when Toronto was defenseless because Bond Head had sent all the 
British Regulars to Quebec to aid the Governor there to put down the 
Lower Canada Rebellion. There were lots of weapons in the arsenal in 
Toronto but only a few men to guard them. 

On December 5, at six o'clock in the evening in pitch black darkness 
Mackenzie and seven hundred rebels marched down Yonge Street and 
met a detachment of Sheriff Jarvis and twenty-seven riflemen who fired 
a volley from behind a fence (where Maple Leaf Gardens is now located). 
Mackenzie's group fired a volley in return and both sides retreated. The 
opportunity for an easy capture of Toronto would not come again. It is 
not surprising that the action has been compared to a comic opera. On 
December 6 John Rolph left for the United States because he knew he 
would face arrest. 

On December 6, Mackenzie took no action and many of his men 
drifted away. By December 7 the Loyalist Militia which had poured into 
Toronto now outnumbered the rebels. They advanced up Yonge Street 
and attacked Montgomery's Tavern, the rebel headquarters. Mackenzie's 
forces were dispersed in a very short encounter. All of Mackenzie's men 
fled who could. That night posters were printed offering a 1000 pounds 
reward for Mackenzie. 

The first news of the Rebellion in Toronto that reached the London 
District was that Mackenzie was successful and this report gained 



remarkable credence throughout the area. Another rumour was that 
Duncombe and other leading reformers in Oxford were to be imprisoned. 
Duncombe decided that he must raise a force in his own defence. He, 
himself, raised troops from Norwich, and Eliakim Malcolm and his 
brother raised rebels from Oakland and Bayham. About 50 rebels 
assembled from Sparta and Port Stanley to march to Oakland on 
December 12, and after a hard march arrived at Scotland on the evening 
of December. There they joined the four to five hundred who had 
gathered in Oakland township. The rebels had no aims or definite 
objectives, and they soon received the very bad news that Colonel Allan 
MacNab was in Brantford with 300 Militiamen and he was expected to 
march on Oakland on the fourteenth. Also the false rumours about 
Mackenzie's victory liad been replaced by accurate reports of the crushing 
defeat the Reformers had suffered in Toronto. In addition the fact that 
there was no support from London and St. Thomas was a 
disappointment. What Duncombe did not know was that Colonel Askin 
of London had raised a party to go to St. Thomas and pick up more 
volunteers from the Third Middlesex Militia. This group arrived at 
Oakland, 167 strong at 12 noon on Thursday, December 14 to find that 
the rebels had left. The Port Stanley and Sparta rebels left Scotland in the 
late evening of December 13 to make their way home. Colonel Askin's 
party arrested many of them. 

It was very easy for Duncombe to decide that the odds were too great 
The rebels retired to Norwich, men deserting on the way. At Norwich it 
was reported that Duncombe advised his dejected and frightened rebels 
to go home and lie low. It is known that that was the private advice he 
gave to a number of rebels. Duncombe felt that only officers and leaders 
would be prosecuted. 

Early on the morning of December 14 he galloped westward hoping 
to reach Michigan and safety. It is interesting to note that on December 
13 when Duncombe was in difficulties in Oakland, William Lyon 
Mackenzie was safe on Navy Island in the Niagara River and had listed 
the names of his Provisional Government of Upper Canada, one of whom 
was Charles Duncombe. There was no evidence that Duncombe and 
Mackenzie had ever met and laid plans. 


From Norwich Duncombe fled westward. There is no definite 
accurate account of the route he took or when he arrived in Detroit. His 
daughter's account written in 1898 when she was an old lady states that 



he left Norwich in Quaker dress and that he fell through the ice crossing 
a pond and was compelled to seek refuge in a house not knowing what 
his reception would be, but fortunately they took him in and he spent a 
comfortable night in bed. 

Most authorities state that he spent several days in the woods, 
moving only at night, afraid to light a fire and suffering greatly from the 

Outside of Ins daughter's statement, the printed records of 
Duncombe's escape are based on the accounts of the descendants of the 
Shenick family in London or the David Duncombe descendants in 

Most sources say he spent one night at Mr. Putnam's at Nilestown, 12 
a political friend and a Mason. Putnam was a confidant of Duncombe and 
was probably a brother of William Putnam who was elected Deputy 
Grand Master of the proposed Provincial Grand Lodge of 1835-1836. 
One or two nights later, he turned up at the home of his sister, Huldah 
Shenick, near London. At first she did not recognize him because Ms hair 
had turned white. That night he slept in a bed but early in the morning 
he was hidden in the barn and was kept there for up to a month. His 
meals were taken out to him when chores were being done. A friend of 
Duncombe's, Charles Goodrich Tilden, came from Amherstburg to see 
his sister, Mrs. Hitchcock, who 1 lived on Hitchcock street (now Maple 
street) in London. Tilden knew that Duncombe had not been caught and 
he called on the Shenicks to find out if Duncombe was there. He 
suggested the scheme of disguising Dr. Duncombe as a woman and 
driving luin to Detroit. He also suggested that the twelve year old son of 
Solomon Shenick, the brother of Henry Shenick, be taken along. Another 
author suggests diat Mr. Tilden and Duncombe's sister, Huldah Shenick, 
and her nine year old daughter comprised the party. The first alternative 
sounds the most plausible. C. 0. Ematinger in his book, The Talbot 
Regime, states that the sleigh carrying Duncombe crossed the ice at 
Sarnia. Jean Waldie in Brant County, Volume II, has the party crossing 
at Marine City, and John C. Higgins (a descendant of Henry and Huldah 
Shenick), in an address given before the London and Middlesex 
Historical Society in 1964, states that they crossed at Windsor. 

Some accounts say that the soldier who guided the sleigh half way 
across the river was rewarded with a tip and that Duncombe shouted out: 
Tell your commander you have just piloted Dr. Duncombe across the 

The Higgins account also states that when the sleigh reached the 



American side, Duncombe shouted, I'm free! At last I am free! and the 
Tories be damned. It seems improbable that Duncombe would have 
jeopardized the safety of the party who had to return to Canada, because 
the news would spread rapidly in both countries that Duncombe had 
escaped and the sleigh driver would be questioned closely when he 
returned. Being afraid that the young boy might break down under 
questioning, they decided to leave the boy with a family friend at 
Lexington, Michigan. 13 This meant a sleigh trip about half as far as the 
trip from London to Detroit. Only the Jean Waldie account does not have 
Duncombe make his spectacular statement. Ermatinger's book was 
published in 1904 and his source was the Shenick family in London. 
Higgins' account was written in 1964 and Ins source was the Shenick 
family. Waldie's account was written in 1938 and her source was a 
descendant of Dr. David Duncombe. 


Duncombe and Mackenzie and others of the escapees spent the next 
few years in trying to stir up Americans to raise troops to invade Canada. 
None were more indefatigable than Duncombe. The first document we 
have is a Duncombe letter dated February 24, 1838, sent to the Monroe 
(Michigan) Gazette describing the invasion of Canada. Brigadier 
General Donald McLeod 14 landed in Upper Canada with arms, camion, 
baggage, and munitions of war, at 1 o'clock this afternoon. This force 
amounted to about 300 men and they had invaded Fighting Island in the 
Detroit River. Militia forces (the Essex and some from Middlesex) and 
the British 32nd Regiment under Major Townsend attacked on February 
25. Colonel John Prince of the Essex Militia reported on the action: 

At V2 past 7 we marched over the ice to attack the Enemy. They were 
about 300 in number, and before we got halfway across they fled before 
us lilce hill-sheep dogs. We took 1 prisoner, 1 gun, some small arms and 
swords, a drum, and some ammunition and Provisions. Got home by 1 
very much tired. 15 

Tlus was the only military action in which Duncombe personally ever 
look part. Even before he reached Detroit an attack had taken place. The 
Schooner Anne under the command of Dr. Theller ran up and down the 
river near Amherslburg and fired shots into the town. On the evening of 
January 9 the Anne was making its run, but, firing from the shore caused 
the helmsman to abandon his post (or wheel) and run below deck, and 
the slup grounded with the deck inclined toward the shore preventing the 
crew from firing their canons or protecting themselves from rifle fire. 



Consequently the vessel was easily taken and the crew were captured. 
Casualties were: one killed, eight wounded, and 12 captured. The 
prisoners included two of the rebels from Port Stanley who had inarched 
to Oakland: David Anderson who died of wounds within a few days of 
his capture and Walter Chase who later escaped from the London jail in 
August 1838. The leader, Dr. Theller, was taken to the Quebec Citadel 
from whence he escaped and was back in Detroit in time to support the 
attack on Windsor in December. Dr. Theller later gained some fame for 
writing a book on his short inglorious military career. 16 

The Anne liad a large supply of muskets and ammunition which were 
very useful to the poorly armed local militia. The prisoners were escorted 
to London by men of the St. Thomas Troop of Cavalry. 

During the month of February, from Detroit, Duncombe himself 
issued three proclamations promising land and money to all residents of 
Upper Canada willing to enroll in the Patriot cause. Raising money and 
arms are always the main difficulties faced by a promoter of an invasion. 


In 1837 a new secret body called The Hunters Lodges or Patriot 
Hunters was formed. This was a secret society formed solely to promote 
Canadian independence from England. 

Duncombe quickly realized that this organization should be 
promoted. In June, 1838 he was speaking to large audiences at the 
courthouses in Cleveland and at other places in the near vicinity 
wherever listeners were to be found, railing against monarchial 
institutions as having no place on the North American continent, and 
agitating for an independent republic for Upper Canada. l7 

A convention of 160 delegates from Hunters Lodges in the west met 
at Cleveland on September 16-22, 1838. Duncombe attended and 
introduced a banking scheme to finance the Patriot cause and a 
government in exile was formed for the new Republic of Upper Canada. 18 

On October 27, 1838 Duncombe was in Lockport, a hot bed of the 
Hunters Lodges, and wrote to Doctor Thomas D. Morrison, his co-rebel 
friend in exile from Toronto. Morrison must have joined a Hunters Lodge 
because Duncombe's letter begins, I understood that you have found some 
difficulty in remembering the obligations so I have sent you a kopy. He 
gives him the secret code of the Hunters which is to be used in 
communication between members. The code had symbols for 24 letters. 
C and J were omitted. Thus, Charles Duncombe's name was spelt, 
Kharles Dunkombe. 



Duncombe also informs him that they expect to cross into Canada on 
the first day of the next month (November). This refers to the expedition 
against Prescott which took place November 16, 1838. It was a disaster 
for the Patriots. 

Another Hunter scheme planned from Cleveland, and led by Lucius 
V. Bierce was to make an attack on Windsor. Bierce wanted to wait for 
more men to arrive but was shamed by taunts of cowardice into making 
a premature attack. On the morning of December 4 he seized a steamboat 
in Detroit and with several hundred men crossed the river to attack 
Windsor, which was easily captured. The attack was repulsed. Twenty- 
seven of the invaders were killed, including William Putnam, 
Duncombe's long-time friend and fellow Mason. Twenty of the attackers 
were taken prison and five were shot on the orders of Colonel John 

In December Duncombe wrote to the American President, Martin 
Van Buren. The letter was published in three issues of the Lockport 
Freeman's advocate between December 7 and December 28. Only the 
copy of December 28 exists. In this letter Duncombe argues that the 
American President should not enforce the Law of Neutrality and should 
not interfere with the efforts of men like himself and American Patriots 
who were trying to raise money and amis to rescue the Canadians from 
an illegal government. 

The constant efforts of people like Mackenzie and Duncombe and the 
willingness of the Hunters Lodges to raise funds and arms to raid Canada 
kept the population in Upper Canada in a continued state of apprehension 
during 1838 and 1839. The brief summary listing the attacks in 1838 are 
proof of this. But as well as apprehension there was the heavy cost of 
raising and maintaining troops. 

The St. Thomas Troop of Cavalry was embodied on January 2, 1839. 
It was formed by Captain James Ermatinger from Montreal who was 
working for his uncle, Edward Ermatinger, in St. Thomas at the time the 
Rebellion broke out. On January 3, the troop was ordered to the Western 
frontier where it stayed until April 24 and then returned to St. Thomas. 
On March 3 it took part in a charge across the ice at Pelee Island to 
disperse an American force that was tlireatening to invade. The troop was 
called out again from July 1 to July 6 and again on October 24 at which 
time they remained on duty at London and St. Thomas until April 30, 
1840, a period of twenty months service. 

The Middlesex Militia Regiments were also called out for duty. The 
three main regiments were the First, Second, and Third commanded by 



Colonel Thomas Talbot, Malilon Burvvell, and John Bostwick. Normally, 
the Militias were called out one day a year for training. Consequently, 
when they were called out in an emergency they were not trained and 
many of their officers were old and inefficient. In 1825 Charles 
Duncoinbe had been appointed Surgeon of the Second Regiment; but in 
1837 Colonel Burwell still had John Rolph listed as a Major and 
Duncoinbe listed as a Surgeon despite the fact that both men had left the 
a area years before. However, Burwell ran an efficient regiment unlike 
John Bostwick who was short of officers because the Adjutant General at 
Toronto had failed to list his slate of officers in the Gazette. 

A fourth regiment was formed under Colonel Thomas H. Ball. It was 
raised in London and the other tliree regiments were to supply 200 men 
each for his unit. Only Colonel Burwell was able to fulfill that obligation. 
Colonel Bostwick could not supply any men. Also the Militia had to 
supply detachments at Port Stanley, Port Burwell, Port Talbot, and St. 


From 1838 to 1841 Duncombe's efforts to support the Hunters 
Lodges to raise funds, and to enlist the sympathy and support of 
American political figures of both the local and national scene had been 
to no avail. For three years he had been a frequent visitor in Lockport, 
Cleveland, and Detroit and other cities and towns on the American 
shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario. 

In 1841 he published in Cleveland, Ohio, a 536-page book entitled 
Duncoinbe Free Banking, An Essay on Banking, Currency, Finance, 
Exchanges and Political Economy. A copy of the book with letters of 
explanation were sent to the United States Congress, and in particular to 
Daniel Webster. 

The book advocated the establishment of a Federal Bank which was 
to control the issue of money and to oversee the State Banks so that credit 
was more readily available. It would appear that this publication was his 
last effort in the Patriot cause. 

He settled for most of the forties in Rochester. He is listed in the 
directories from 1844 to 1848 but it is known that he was there in 1842 
for he writes a letter to his son-in-law, John Tufford, dated June 13, 
1842, winch begins, On my return to this place (Rochester) from New 
York. 19 

In tins same letter Duncoinbe gives Tufford some advice on the 
education of children. It reads very much as if it were written in the 



1990's. It shows how modern his ideas on education were. 

The inductive system is no doubt the true system of education. Don't 
restrain them (children) by fear. Fear is a degrading passion. If they do 
wrong, reason with them, show them their errors. 

Let them see every thing. Let them observe the trees of the forest, 
and the flowers and grass of the field, they all contain instructions, let 
them ask as many questions as they will. If their questions puzzle you a 
little to answer, refer them to their dictionary or some other authority. 
Books with pictures are best for children. I would learn the things - then 
words - and how to spell them at their leisure - 1 would not restrain them 
from making a noise let them play and holler as I could and as much as 
they will let them commit to memory as much as they can. The memory 
may be made as good as you desire it. Only see all you can see, and begin 
the improvement of the memory by asking over and over to describe what 
they have seen, next what they have heard. What you have told them of 
the different kinds of timbers, cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, fowls, birds, 
fishes. Everything they see they should describe. Help them constantly 
every day, and they will soon be able to tell a long story. It is all done by 

In 1843 Duncombe petitioned for a pardon from the Canadian 
Government stating that he had never sought the separation of Upper 
Canada from Great Britain and that he had raised the standard of revolt 
only to prevent his own arrest. He returned to Canada in 1844 and 1846 
but unlike his friends Dr. John Rolph and Dr. Thomas David Morrison 
he did not return to stay. His visits were primarily to settle business 
accounts and finalize land transactions. 

Why didn't he stay? Perhaps he felt that he would have a more 
successful future in the United States. He may have asked his wife to 
move to the States and she refused. From letters he wrote to his brother 
Elijah in 1839 and to his daughter, Eliza Jane and her husband in 1842 
and 1846, he makes no mention of, nor reference to, his wife, Nancy. We 
do not know whether lus decision not to stay in Canada was based on his 
wife's refusal to accompany him to the States or because their 
relationship had become absolutely incompatible. 

We know that Duncombe was in Philadelphia in 1846, attending 
medical courses at the University of Pennsylvania. In his letter dated 
January 29, 1846 he writes to his daughter, Eliza Jane Tufford, / am up 
until I J or 12 o'clock every night and engaged with my pen by 5 or 6 in 
the morning constantly. Then I visit hospitals, clinics and lecture with 
Dr. Shenickfrom 9 to 2. He goes on to say in the same letter - though not 



apparently complaining: Few men have spent so long a life with so little 
leisure as myself. 

In both letters of 1842 and 1846 he discusses his business affairs. 
John Tufford had power of attorney to act for him. 


Duncombe left the Rochester and Lockport area in 1847 or 1848. He 
was listed in the Rochester directory for 1847-48 but not in the 1849 
directory. He bought property in Lockport in 1847. California references 
put him in Sacramento in 1849, but, the first definite reference is in the 
1850 Census of Sacramento which lists his household as follows: 

Duncombe, Cliarles M.D. Age 54 Born Conn Duncombe, Lucy Age 
39 Born New York Jackson, Ford Age 18 Born Indiana. His listing of 
assets was $85,000 winch for that time placed him in a very high 
financial state. 

Opposed to the above is the following information from the 1851 
census of Brantford Township, Ontario winch listed the household of 
John Tufford and his wife, Eliza, Duncombe's oldest daughter. The 
family consisted of eight children ranging in age from 1 to 17, and Nancy 
Duncombe, Charles' wife age 60, born in the United States. 

The only conclusion one can deduce is that Charles Duncombe was 
living in sin, as well as being a very rich man. 

On November 4, 1850 he purchased for $5,000 a property very close 
to wliat is now die present state capitol building in Sacramento. In 1852 
and 1854 he purchased further lots in the same area for $2,500 and 
$1,600. He was elected to the town council in 1851 and as usual he 
practiced medicine; in 1852 he took a partner, Alexander B. Nixon, who 
later held many high medical positions in Sacramento. He helped to 
fomid and was die First Master of the fourth Masonic Lodge to be formed 
in Sacramento - Washington Lodge No. 20. 

Despite his affluence as shown in the 1850 census and his purchases 
of property in Sacramento, a bad investment soured his future. In a 
cordial letter to John Rolph dated Sacramento, January 10, 1853 he 
states, "I loaned the Ural Quarry Mining Company my money, over 
twenty thousand dollars, with which I intended to have returned to 
Canada, the company failed with the other Quarry Mining Companies 
and I have paper for over twenty thousand dollars for which I cannot 
realize $200 — I took the works for security at last and by some hook or 
crook they saddled me with the (debts) of the Company. I am doing a 
good business and could in a year or so recover again. Yet the blow fell 



heavily upon me. I have determined to return to Canada as soon as I 
should have what money I should need so I have not appointed an agent 
there to attend to my business." He did not recover again, and his 
financial status declined over the next few years. 

Life, however, was not all downhill despite the decrease in his 
financial worth. The Sacramento Bee announced in the issue of March 
19, 1858 that a son had been born to Doctor Duncombe. No date of birth 
is listed. Lucy Duncombe, the mother would have been 41 years old. 
There must be some errors I n the census records. Lucy' s death 
certificate shows her age I n 1899 as 84 years, 2 months and 12 days. 
This would make her 41 when her (presumably first) son was born. The 
census records of 1850 and 1860 show her as 39 and 46. The 1850 census 
should show her age as 35. 

He was elected to the State Legislature in 1858; however his seat was 
declared vacant on January 22, 1859 because he was not a citizen. He 
was re-elected on March 2, but was declared to be ineligible on March 8, 
1859. Following tins he became a naturalized citizen and was elected and 
served in the 1863 Assembly. He was never defeated in any election he 
contested, in Upper Canada or the United States. 

He must have sold his properties in Sacramento, and purchased a 
ranch at Hicksville. According to his obituary he made this move about 
1856. 20 In 1862 and 1863 he purchased additional acreage to rationalize 
his boundaries for a total cost of $1,374. 

The 1860 census locates the ranch in Sacramento County, Dry Creek 
Township and lists the family as follows: 
Charles Duncombe age 68 Physician Born Conn 

Lucy Duncombe age 46 Born N.Y. 
Wm. Duncombe age 2 Born California 
Huldah Millard age 43 Born N.Y. 

One female servant and tliree farm labourers were listed as members 
of the household. 

The value of Duncombe's real estate was listed as $10,000 and his 
personal estate as $4,000, making a total worth of $14,000, a 
considerable drop from the $85,000 valuation shown on the 1850 census. 
Huldah Millard was the sister of Lucy. Where she came from or when she 
first joined the household is unknown. 

In 1861 he is in correspondence with Henry J. Morgan who was 
planning to publish Sketches of Celebrated Canadians; Duncombe 
suggests that he (Duncombe) is worthy of inclusion in the book, and that 



he will write the story of his escape but would suppress the names of 
friends and foes for reasons that to you will appear obvious. Morgan's 
book was published in 1862 and neither Duncombe nor Rolph were 
included. It would have been most interesting to hear the story of his 
escape in his own words. 

Shortly before his death, Duncombe suffered a sunstroke which 
paralyzed him for a time, but he did not make his will until September 
26, four days before he died on October 1, 1867. The will is an interesting 
document. Because he was paralyzed his signature had to be signed by 
one of the witnesses. The will appointed his wife as executor and as 
guardian for his son. The estate was to be equally divided between his 
wife, Mrs. Lucy Millard Duncombe, his son William A. Duncombe, and 
his wife's sister Miss Huldali Millard giving one third to each. 

The probate papers show that die total estate amounted to $7,175. 18. 
One half of the estate went to the wife and the other half was split 
between the three beneficiaries. The son received $1,695.86 in gold coins 
and Huldali received $1,165.86 in dollars. The estate was relatively small 
when compared with the 1850 and 1860 census valuations. 

Duncombe was interred in the Masonic plot of the Sacramento City 

The three beneficiaries did not stay in the Sacramento area. They 
probably moved to Alameda county and lived together while William was 
growing up. From 1877 to 1879 Lucy and William are listed in the 
Oakland Directory living at the same address and William is a university 
student. They are together again in 1887 and 1888. Lucy is not listed 
between 1890 and 1898. William worked at various jobs in Oakland — 
clerk, bookkeeper, and from 1891 to 1899 he worked for the Southern 
Pacific Railway in various clerical positions. When Lucy is not listed in 
the Oakland directories she was probably living with her sister Huldali, 
but the only information we have about Huldali is that she died on 
January 1, 1896, in the Alameda County Infirmary and she is buried in 
the Duncombe plot in the Sacramento City Cemetery. 




1. The Shedick records say 1821. 

2. Hie original letter is owned by a private collector. He permitted copies to be made and they 
are lodged in the Elgin Pioneer Museum and the St. Thomas Public Library. 

3. Colonel Thomas Talbot to Hillier, Upper Canada Sundries, R.G.5, Al, Volume 83, 
pp.454 19-26). 

4. The original certificates and an undated statement by Charles that "Mr. Elijah E. Duncombe 
has studied Physics, Surgery, and Midwifery under my care for seven years" are in the pioneer 
Museum in St. Thomas. 

5. This Lodge became No. 2 1 on the formation of the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1 855 and on 
re-numbering in 1860 became No. 44 G.R.C. by which it remains to the present 

6. Dr. Elijah Eli Duncombe was initiated in Mount Moriali Lodge No. 9, Prov. Reg. G.L.C. 
January 9, 1835 and in 1853 he became a charter member and first Senior Warden of St. 
Thomas Lodge No. 232 G.R.I. During the Lodge's first year of existence Dr. Elijah's son, Dr. 
Charles S. Duncombe, was initiated and Bro. Dr. David Duncombe of Waterford was a visitor. 

7. Duncombe's claim to have been a Past Master of an American Lodge cannot possibly be true. 

8. And because Rolph later started the King's College Medical School that later became the 
University of Toronto Medical School this "Dispensatory" claims lofty status in the history of 
medicine in this province. 

9. Duncombe and Rolph were ideal companions and partners. They complimented one another. 
Duncombe introduced Rolph to American political philosophy and republican ideals. Whether 
in medicine or politics the two physicians worked well together (From Godfrey's Rolph, p.43). 

10. For the account of the activities in Middlesex, I have leaned heavily on Colin Read's The 
Rising in Western Canada 1 837-8 published in 1982 - a very thorough and detailed study. 

1 1. Tliese resolutions were printed in the Toronto newspapers, the Liberal and the Constitution 
of 27 September 1837. 

12. Mrs. TufTord says Dorchester; C. 0. Ermatinger says Nilestown. 

13. Thus it was written in the historic Sanilac County album that "Richard Shenick arrived in 
Sanilac County in the year 1838 at the age of 12 with only six cents in his pocket." 

14. Despite the grandiloquent title, McLeod had been a sergeant in the British Army and a 
major in the Grenville Militia. He later returned to Canada and always referred to himself as 
"the General". 

15. John Prince, A Collection of Documents. Edited, R. Alan Douglas for the Champlain 
Society, 1980. 

16. The book was entitled, Canada in 1837-38 by E. A Theller, Brigadier General in the 
Canadian Republican Service. It was published in 1841. 

17. Oscar A Kinchen, The Rise and Fall of the Patriot Hunters, N-Y 1956, pp.36-37. 

18. Ibid., pp.38-39. 

19. This letter is in the Public Archives of Canada. Photocopied and typed copies are available 
at the Elgin Pioneer Museum and the St. Thomas Public Library. 

20. This date is taken from Duncombe's obituary in the Sacramento Bee of September 2, 1 867. 
It seems reasonable that after the disaster with the mining company that he reduced his holdings 
in Sacramento and start ranching and fanning His biography in "The California State Archives" 
states that he made the move between 1854 and 1856. 



(Member of the Philalethes Society) 


St. John's Lodge No. 209A 

London, Ontario 

March 19, 1997 


Can it be that in some respects we are stuck in the past, and not 
responsive to the challenges of a new era? Certainly, for better or worse, 
many articles and commentaries in fraternal journals suggest this. One 
example is quite evident from our own jurisdiction, as well as others. 
Recently, several Grand Masters have tried to get their constituent 
Lodges to settle on one standardized period for their Installations, 
pointing to the inconvenience of two kinds of Masonic year, especially in 
the computer age. Some Lodges use June, and some use December. All 
are jealously guarded privileges based on historic usage. Most remain 
unchanged after strong efforts. 

Some Masonic writers point out that these dates simply reflect the 
traditional Patron Saints of the Order when it was largely Christian in 
character, before we somehow made the hugely beneficial and 
progressive change to universal values. June 24th is, of course, the day 
of St. John the Baptist, and December 21st the day of St. John the 
Evangelist. Indeed, are not the two cojoined, for reasons so beautifully set 
out in the ceremony of dedicating a Lodge, as "tile Holy Saints John of 
Jerusalem". Other sociological commentators have noted that these 
meeting times, as well as the tradition of meeting in the evening, are 
really a reflection of how the Craft adjusted from the daylight and 
extempore meetings of the medieval age to the needs and demands of the 
agricultural age. A few Daylight Lodges reflected a modest adjustment 
to the needs of the industrial age, for night-workers and the retired. Little 
else has changed. 



The question arises, therefore, as to how the Craft can adjust to the 
Information Age and the Knowledge Society, and will it even be 
relevant? Can we respond to the challenges of this new and puzzling era? 
The question of Freemasonry's place in the Knowledge Society is surely 
one of profound significance for the future of mankind. But first, we need 
to understand the kind of society we are entering, and the sorts of 
problems which arise, now and in the future. 


Many of the challenges which arise are already beginning to be 
evident, and have been frequently noted in scholarly publications, and in 
fraternal publications such as The Philalethes magazine. They are also 
symptomatically evident in almost every Lodge notice and Grand Lodge 
report. We are all familiar with them. For example, there is the self- 
evident problem of the demographics of the Order: the prevalence of 
older men and, in most Masonic bodies, a very high average age. There 
is also the masking of true membership numbers by multiple Lodge 
affiliations. Tins is partly a reflection of an aging society, but it is worse. 
As one Masonic authority put it: it represents a truly remarkable potential 
for Masonic funerals! It also reflects in symptoms such as the difference 
between Lodge membership and Lodge attendance; in the very survival 
of many allied Masonic bodies as the demographic wave works its way 
from the foundation up through the superstructure. It is there in the 
difficulty of manning the various offices, and even in some cases, the dire 
challenge of keeping the various branches of Freemasonry alive. There 
are serious financial and charitable implications. There is the general 
social marginalization of the Craft as measured against other fraternal 
organizations; and the general decline of all such organizations in 
competition with the other attractions and diversions available. 

But, in addition to these well-known problems, which have been 
increasingly evident for some decades, there have also been some highly 
significant changes in our wider society which have not yet been fully 
played out. They will certainly add further impact which could be a 
serious challenge to the Craft. 

One is the gradual decline in the general standard of living, and the 
deterioration of social norms. An example is what happens to the family 
when both spouses work, and there are no relatives or elder generations 
to look after children. 

There is also the increasing uncertainty regarding work itself. Jeremy 
Rifkin in Ins book The End of Work argues that increasing automation 
will remove the very idea or concept of "a job". He argues that we will be 



pushed into a post-market era, substituting software for routine 
employees, as the global economy fundamentally changes the nature of 
work itself. For many people this is a drastic re-definition of the meaning 
of life itself, because they have grown up in a kind of dependency on 
large institutions, based on the concept of "a job". 

In addition, the Census shows us the breakdown of traditional 
communities, as people move every few years. Young people have great 
difficulty in finding time to attend functions on a regular basis because 
of the uncertainty of their working conditions, the demands of suburban 
life, and the shortage of disposable time. All these trends have been well 
explored by the Canadian economist Nuala Beck, in her books Shifting 
Gears: Thriving in the New Economy and Excelerate: Growing in the 
New Economy. Alvin Tofller, the futurist, has argued that as we move 
into cyberspace, we are entering the new "super-symbolic" economy. 
According to the theories of the economist Kondratieff, the old industrial 
economy peaked in 1981-82, and we have been working our way tlirough 
a hidden depression. Some time early in the next century, argues Harry 
S. Dent, Jr., there is a great boom ahead, a new cycle of growth in a new 
economy. The information age society will then develop quickly. It has 
been called by futurists, such as Alvin Tofller, the "super-symbolic 
society" because most of the elements of information will simply be 
electronic symbols existing in cyberspace. They will control the real 


Surely, Freemasons should be at home in a super-symbolic society? 
Symbolism and allegory are at the root of the Craft. Perhaps in dis-ussing 
the nature of the super-symbolic society we may find some signals for the 
future of the Craft. We have a good beginning: in a global society, 
Freemasonry has universalist values applicable to all good men. In an 
increasingly tribal society we appeal to brotherhood. In a society where 
bureaucracy is in trouble, we have the structure of self-governing Lodges 
under stable and constitutional government. In a world of warring 
factions we speak for harmony. In a world where there is increasing lying 
and corruption, we speak for truth. In a world of massive social problems 
we have a commitment to relief of suffering. If we can understand the 
nature of the new society, we have the fundamental and enduring 
principles on which to build. 

Huge megapolitical changes are happening. Basically, in the coming 
age, everyone will be obliged, like it or not, to look after themselves, 
because the age of dependency on big government or big business or big 
unions or big institutions is over. There will be long-term persistent 



uncertainty about our careers in business or the professions. In effect, 
everyone will need to manage their own lives just as does an entrepreneur 
when he manages a business. That involves being nimble, shifting to new 
opportunities as old ones dry up. This is a fundamental shift for most 
people, and many will need help to achieve it: but is not that what 
Freemasonry has been about? We have tried to build the sovereign 
individual and to combat everything that stultifies human development: 
ignorance, prejudice, poverty, disease, and society. 

All the statistics show that the largest generation of baby boomers, 
average age about 50 now, are seriously under-invested and over- 
committed with respect to resources, assets, and time, so there will be a 
crying need for the kind of help we can give. The acid test which will 
apply to almost every activity will be: does it add real value, and does it 
strengthen the sovereign individual? Are we building the Temple? 

The context will be disturbing to all Freemasons: a kind of social 
Darwinism. As writers such as Hirschleifer have suggested, most people 
will only play by the rules when it suits them. There will be serious 
problems of elementary morality, decency, civility, and ethics. Hirsch- 
leifer, who specializes in the study of conflict, argues that: ". . . the 
persistence of crime, war and politics teaches us that actual human affairs 
still remain largely subject to the underlying pressures of natural 
economy." What he means is that most actual outcomes will 
unfortunately be shaped by conflict, including open violence. People will 
be sorely tempted to follow the rule of law and economic self-interest 
when it is easy, but will increasingly be diverted from lawful production 
and excliange on the one liand, to fraud, theft and extortion on the other, 
when it looks easy. Added to tins, we will likely have the cartelization of 
the state, as an interim stage to privatization: not unlike modern Russia 
where the Mafia has taken over government and the police. 

In a valuable new book on politics, violence and crime, Garfinkel and 
Skaperdas state: "Individuals and groups can either produce and thus 
create wealth, or seize the wealth created by others." 

This is also allied to trends where technology now favours the 
defence, so that there is a serious decline in the decisiveness of police 
power and military power, as well as diminishing returns to violence. 
Governments cannot police cyberspace. Increasingly individuals will be 
well able to form international business corporations offshore and thus 
taxation will be difficult. Tins means that large groupings such as the 
nation-state or most large governments and corporations will be hard put 
to it to justify their huge overhead costs. 

Very small groups and even solitary individuals (such as gangs, 



tribes, gangsters, Mafia, militias and terrorists) will have real power. 
While aggression by governments will be less likely, domestic peace will 
be difficult to maintain within societies. In addition, there will be 
information wars: battles between propaganda, disinformation, outright 
lying and truth. 

I simply note that historically, Freemasonry has had the moral values 
to reinforce good men, as well as the courage and the integrity and the 
structure to survive tyrannical situations. I think of the survival and re- 
emergence of Masonry in the formerly fascist and communist countries. 
We are historically good at surviving such tests. 

The good side of this is that basically the knowledee society and the 
information age are really, as Davidson and Rees Mogg have said, using 
technology's advances to convert citizens (now regarded as assets by the 
nation states) into customers of private commercially operated agencies 
of protection. We can see the gradual privatization of all state functions: 
and people will choose what they want and pay for it accordingly. This 
means also that the optional size and scale of almost every human 
activity is falling rapidly. Again, we are used to small self-governing 
Lodges: they have survived for centuries under adverse conditions. They 
should prosper in the new age. 

We will gradually see small networks of virtual corporations 
providing almost every service that can be imagined. This is the reverse 
of the industrial age. For most of the industrial age, great wealth was 
created by bringing processes and procedures under central control, on 
the principle that bigger was better. One of my mentors in Britain in the 
National Coal Board in the 1950's was the economist E.F. Schumacher 
who argued that "small is beautiful". That seems to be the way of the 
future. Excessive scale will be uneconomic, and dangerous. 

What does this all mean? Adam Smith said: "Little else is requisite 
to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest state of 
barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of 

The key ingredient in the new age will be acceptance of human 
diversity; and honest government. Without it, barbarism is guaranteed. 
Fortunately, Freemasons have always been patriots in the true sense: in 
favour of constitutionality, the protection of the individual under the rule 
of law, and honest government based on ethical principles and spiritual 
truths. Obviously these are all major challenges. What are the further 
implications for the Craft? 




Canada has very strong cultural traditions of decency, tolerance, 
honest government and respect for persons and the rule of law, and 
Freemasonry has been a strong factor in our peaceful evolution. In 
making good men better, the new technology should enable Freemasons 
to build strong linkages both locally and globally. That will evolve 
naturally as we get used to cyberspace, and it is not likely to be difficult. 

The moral ambiguities and ruthlessness of the Social Darwinism of 
the new age should in itself be fertile ground for Freemasonry. In such 
ages, whatever the difficulty, we have achieved greatness and been of 
great help to mankind. Our ancient landmarks and fundamental 
principles will be a great rock and solid foundation for those who share 
our values. There are, however, some other challenging implications 
which point to the need for significant adaptation, even transformation. 
Obviously, no organization can survive unchanged through traumatic 
times, and Freemasonry is no exception. 

My suggestion is tliat the need is not so much for trendy innovation, 
but for a return to our basic, original, standards and principles and 
practices, to build on those secure foundations for the future. 

But Freemasonry does need a transformation to adjust to the new age. 
Let us refocus on the objects of the Craft: to show by example and by 
encouragement a standard of morality for both private and public life; to 
give evidence of public charity and compassion; and to support and 
strengthen community and society. So perhaps what is needed is really 
a re-focusing. 

Perhaps the first matter is to refocus outward. We have, for good 
reasons, in recent decades focussed more and more internally and 
privately. We must once again focus on community and society, and build 
bulwarks against the dark forces by precept and example to build not only 
our personal temple but the public one, too. We can then demand 
rectitude and better honest leadership in public life. 

It is also evident that children and the family need support and 
strength. We might well focus more of our philanthropy, charity and 
relief on the needs of youth and young families. They are the future of the 
human race, and of our society and its communities. 

The implications are twofold: one is that the Most Worshipful Grand 
Master, after appropriate research, would make public statements on key 
issues of significance to all Freemasons; and that individual Lodges could 
express their particular personalities and character as they see fit, within 
the general rubric, likely in a great variety of ways. 

If the researchers and writers and scholars are correct about the 



decreasing scale of effective action, then it also suggests as a second 
implication that the pendulum will gradually swing away from the long 
centralist trend of Grand Lodges, back to the older pattern of the 
"immemorial rights" of the individual Lodges. That means a real 
challenge at all levels, to leadership. It also suggests that one of the key 
roles of the Grand bodies will be to ensure the survival of the work in all 
its forms. This in its turn may well suggest a different organization of 
Grand bodies, to make it easier for concerned Freemasons with busy 
lives, little time, limited resources, and great concerns for the essentials 
of the Craft, to participate in the many branches of Freemasonry without 
getting over-committed to the neglect of their families and careers. In the 
modem world, it is likely quite unrealistic to expect members to be active 
in a multitude of bodies. But the teachings and the survival of the degrees 
do matter. This will call for some ingenuity and flexibility. 

It also suggests that our many various bodies should stop trying to be 
full-service fraternal organizations competing with non-esoteric 
fraternities. Research has shown that what attracts, holds and compels 
Freemasons is the essential core teachings of Freemasonry itself. Most 
Lodge agendas are, in a sense, endured rather than enjoyed. That is sad: 
think of what we felt at initiation! 

Similarly, we will have no shortage of charitable needs: we will 
likely have to further focus and refine our relief work. A particular 
concern is to ensure that we combat the increasing polarization of society 
into rich and poor, and ensure that poverty is not a barrier to entry. 
Another key area is to combat racism, and new forms of slavery, and to 
ensure that the immense cultural diversity of the emerging society is one 
in which true brotherhood is practiced. Similarly, we should seek to 
ensure that the new technology is available to the underclass so that they 
do not become permanently submerged. 

Perhaps the Grand bodies should become a "research and 
intelligence" organization for the Craft: trying to define trends so that 
local Lodges can be alerted to emerging needs, and meet them before 
they become crises; and correlating research and information so that we 
become the great educators of the Craft to ensure its relevance and 
survival for suffering humanity, easing the sharp edges of what could 
otherwise be a cruel society, even with all its promise. 

As a Masonic historian of the evolution of the Lodges and of the 
various branches of Freemasonry, I have been struck by the burden of the 
buildings we have erected; and by the great value, historically, of the 
"travelling warrants". How much time in Lodge is taken up now by 
increasing demands for funds to rebuild buildings? How many Lodges 



have sufficient revenue from buildings to do fund-raising for basic 
purposes other than maintenance and repair? Also, in a world where, 
because of the rise of evil and the moral ambiguities, Freemasons will be 
targeted for attacks, does it make sense to provide large and prominent 
buildings for some eventual terrorist attack? 

On the one hand, it would be interesting to see a study of what would 
happen if the Order divested itself of all the Lodge buildings and 
properties and invested such funds for this complex future which awaits 
us. On the other hand, why not revert to the old pattern of carrying the 
simple trappings of the Lodge to a meeting place where, as in many old 
Lodges, including my Mother Lodge, the Brethren dine together in 
harmony first, and then go to work in a fraternal mood, removing all 
traces of their presence when they remove the furnishings after Lodge? 
Obviously, Freemasonry survived for centuries in this way, and 
essentially it still does in mobile military units. So it was in our early 

Fixed dates and fixed places to meet fitted the mass industrial 
society. One of the great needs for the future will be flexibility. Daylight 
Lodges and Internet discussions are part of it: but perhaps what we need 
is a revival of "The Travelling Warrant" which was such a feature of the 
military lodges in early Canadian history. 

Obviously, these are only a handful of possible principles for the new 
age, put forward simply to help create constructive discussion and 
hopefully in due course, positive renewal. 

What is clear to me is that, at its foundation, Freemasonry is in tune 
with the fundamental human needs of the new age of a knowledge- 
information society. If we can preserve the ancient landmarks and yet 
adapt the Craft, we can make a significant and vitally important 
contribution to the evolution of humanity. That, surely, is in large part 
what the concept of Freemasonry aimed at doing, through the ages! 

So mote it be! 


ECONOMY: Toronto: Harper Collins Publishers 

Toronto: Harper Collins Publishers 

DENT, Harry. S.(Jr.X1993): THE GREAT BOOM AHEAD: New York: Hyperion 

CONFLICT AND APPROPRIATION: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 

RIFKIN, Jeremy (1996): THE END OF WORK: New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons 





P.D.D.G.M. (1984) Grey District 


Scott Lodge, No. 421 G.R.C. 

Grand Valley, Ontario 

May 21, 1997 

The history of Grey District reflects the origin and advancement 
of the twelve Lodges which currently form the District. Many of 
these Lodges have already celebrated a century and even more of 
service to their Communities. The senior lodge received its 
dispensation to operate a scant two years after the historic Masonic 
meeting held in Hamilton on October 10, 1855 which gave birth to 
the Grand Lodge of Canada. 

In an effort to prepare a factual history of Grey District, 
historical documentation was sought from each of the District's 
twelve Lodges. This information together with detail gleaned from 
the proceedings of Grand Lodge, has been carefully distilled in order 
to produce as factual a document as possible. 

Grey District came into existence in 1916 following the adoption 
by Grand Lodge of the proposal presented by the special Committee 
for Re-distribution of Lodges and Re-constitution. Each Lodge 
placed in the newly formed Grey District had of necessity belonged 
to one or more Districts prior to the formation of the District which 
was now to become their home. Hence the early history of each of 
the twelve Lodges now comprising Grey District will be 
incorporated in the text that follows. 



St. George's Lodge No. 88, Owen Sound 

The early liistory of Freemasonry and that of the City of Owen Sound 
have been closely linked. In 1857 St. George's Lodge came into 
being, while at the same time Owen Sound was incorporated as a town 
and elected its first mayor. The population was but 2,000 and daily stage 
coaches ran to Collingwood, Southampton and Guelph. A court house 
had been erected and schools and churches were being built. It was in 
this ever-changing environment that those early pioneers sought to create 
their Masonic Lodge. Application for dispensation to form St. George's 
Lodge was made to the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada and was 
formally granted on September 22, 1857. 

On the evening of October 20th, 1857 one month after the granting 
of dispensation, six Masons assembled in a room in May's Hotel for the 
first meeting of St. George's Lodge. At this meeting the dispensation was 
read as well as the certificate of the installation of the first Worshipful 
Master of the Lodge. The ceremony of installation had been previously 
held in Toronto, then the centre of Masonry for tins district. 

During this early period in Owen Sound's Masonic history many 
prominent citizens of the community were desirous of becoming 
members of the Craft. Consequently the Lodge was very active and held 
frequent meetings. At the regular meeting in July 1858 word was 
officially received that a union had been formed between the Ancient 
Grand Lodge of Canada and the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Canada. 
At the regular meeting September, 7th, 1859, a communication from 
Grand Lodge gave instruction that No. 88 be inserted in the warrant of 
the Lodge. 

In the early years it should be noted that not only did the Master-elect 
have to travel to Toronto for Installation but also the Officers were 
summoned to Toronto for instruction in the three degrees. Lodge 
furnishings were also being acquired during these early years for what 
today would seem ridiculously low cost. 

By 1874 it was felt by a number of the brethren that there was room 
for two Lodges in Owen Sound. Accordingly on July 22, 1874, a petition 
for the formation of a new Lodge was approved as was the shared use of 
the Lodge Room. Tins was to be the beginning of a warm close fraternal 
relationship with a new sister Lodge to be named North Star. 

It is recorded that on September 26th, 1917, the application of Rev. 
Thomas Pilkey. was received. He was initiated on November 28th, passed 
December 26th, and raised January 27th, 1918. Brother Pilkey 
subsequently moved to Manitoba where he went on to serve as Grand 
Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. 



111 June of 1924 the final General Assembly prior to Church Union 
of the Presbyterian Church of Canada was held in Owen Sound. An 
emergent meeting of St. George's Lodge was held in the form of a 
banquet for the visiting Masonic brethren who had come as delegates 
from all across Canada. This is but one of many examples to be found in 
the Lodge's history of Community service and participation which 
continues even to this day. 

St George's Lodge No. 88, began its illustrious history as a member 
of the old Toronto District, before being placed in Georgian District in 
1879, Georgian District 9A in 1912 and in 1916, the Lodge became a 
part of the newly created Grey District. 

Pythagoras No. 137, Meaford 

In 1858 among the settlers in the Meaford area there were a number 
of Masons who requested dispensation to form their own Lodge from the 
Grand Lodge of Canada. The dispensation was given on January 13, 
1860, with the Lodge meetings to be held on the Friday on or after the 
first full moon each month. 

The minutes of the first meeting held January 1, 1860, indicate that 
there were six members and two visitors from Thornbury in attendance. 
At the meeting two petitions for initiation were received. The minutes of 
tins meeting state as there was "nothing further offering for the Good of 
Masonry the Lodge closed in Peace and Harmony". 

One of die first meetings of the Lodge was held in a schoolhouse but 
its exact location is unknown. The first regular Lodge room was held in 
what was known as the McDonald House situated on Sykes Street 
halfway between Marshall and Edwin Streets. It is reported that in the 
late I800's the Square and Compasses were still painted on the floor. 

The Lodge relocated in 1861 to a building on Boucher Street, just 
east of the English Church, where a room was finished suitable for 
Masonic meetings. The rent at this location was $40.00 per year and 
served the members for two years. In 1863 the Lodge agreed to rent a 
room for their regular meetings in a building on the east side of Sykes 
Street between Boucher Street and the Big Head River. 

In 1873 a motion to purchase land and build a Lodge building was 
defeated. The members then decided to hold their meetings in rooms in 
a building known as the Chishohn Block. The heat source in the Lodge 
room was by wood stove which was not unusual for the period. However, 
when a new supply of firewood was needed, it was dropped near the 



sidewalk door on Lodge night and as every member came to Lodge he 
would carry two or three pieces to the third floor Lodge room. The Lodge 
room was lit with coal oil lamps. 

On April 20, 1883, a committee was formed to acquire an organ for 
the Lodge. Tins may very well be the same organ which is in the present 
Lodge room. 

Pythagoras Lodge has had a beautiful carpet for many years. It was 
originally ordered by Collingwood Lodge but they would not accept it 
from the manufacuirer because it was Masonically imperfect. The carpet, 
in order to be symmetrically even, was made by the manufacturer with 
eight stars and not seven as ordered. Pythagoras Lodge was able to 
acquire the carpet for a very, very reasonable price. This carpet remains 
in the present Lodge room. 

Some interesting recordings in the minutes of the Lodge include 
items such as the fact that the Treasurer in December 1865 absconded 
with $45.00 of Lodge funds as he went to Toledo, Ohio. In November 
1868 the members contemplated relocating the Lodge to Thornbury. In 
its early years they approved for payment on most of their accounts bills 
for cigars; and that the meeting night was changed to the first Tuesday 
of each month on April 2, 1915. 

Pythagoras Lodge officiated at several dedications of buildings in 
Meaford including the first high school in 1890 which was presided over 
by Deputy Grand Master, R.W.Bro. John Ross Robertson, who returned 
to visit Pythagoras Lodge the following year as Grand Master. The Lodge 
also dedicated the Wesley Church in 1881 aud the Meaford United 
Church in 1908. At this event the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. A. T. Freed 
of Hamilton pronounced the cornerstone to be "well and truly laid." At 
the conclusion of the dedication the Grand Master invoked the blessing 
of the Great Arclutect of die Universe and His protection of the workmen 
throughout the entire process of the construction of the building and the 
preservation of the sacred edifice for the purpose intended, for many 
years to come. 

In 1956 after receiving notice to vacate their rented premises the 
members proceeded with the purchase of land on Cook Street where the 
present Lodge building was constructed with the assistance of the 
members of Pythagoras Lodge for approximately $12,000.00. 

Pythagoras Lodge No. 137 became a member of Grey District in 
1951 after having petitioned the Grand Lodge to be transferred from 
Georgian District where it had been a member since 1879 having 
previously been a member of the old Toronto District since 1866. 



St. AlbaiTs Lodge No. 200 Mount Forest 

The inaugural meeting of St. Alban's Lodge U.D. was held on April 
3rd, 1868, in Spence's Hall, corner of main and Queen Streets in Mount 
Forest. This was to be home until 1882 when a move was made to the 
Jamieson block, corner of Main and Birmingham Streets. After the sale 
of this block, temporary quarters were obtained in the Lewis block, where 
meetings were held in the quarters of the Ancient Order of Foresters 
Hall. During this period the Lodge had the pleasure of a visit from 
M.W.Bro. John Ross Robertson then Grand Master, who, the minutes 
inform, "objected to our meeting in the rooms of another Society." 
Shortly thereafter in 1898 new quarters were found where St. Alban's 
took up residence until the erection of their present home in the fall of 

Like so many Lodges in rural areas, St. Alban's received numerous 
applications in the early years. At the very first meeting an application 
was received from Thomas Swan who later became mayor of the Town 
of Mount Forest. The minutes of St. Alban's suggest that, during the 
decade prior to the turn of the century, the Lodge was extremely active 
and many of the original fixtures and furniture were replaced. The 
present furniture, carpet and matting was purchased in 1894. We are told 
the furniture was made in Mount Forest by the Weir Wardrobe Company 
winch at tliat time had been winning prizes for its furniture designs at the 
New York Fair. 

The Seventieth Anniversary of the Lodge was held at the regular 
meeting on November 4th, 1938, when the banquet was attended by the 
Grand Master, M.W.Bro. W.J. Dunlop and the Grand Master of Quebec, 
M.W.Bro. D. McLellan, an old Mount Forest boy. 

It is interesting to note that St. Alban's Lodge was originally placed 
in Huron District but promptly switched to Wellington District in 1869. 
It was in Wellington District that the Lodge was first honoured by having 
one of its past Masters, W.Bro. John McLaren, elected District Deputy 
Grand Master. In 1916 St. Alban's became a part of Grey District where 
they have been honoured to have several of their Past Masters elected to 
represent the Grand Master in the District, namely R. W.Bro. Ivan 
Chalmers in 1936, R. W.Bro. William Coupar in 1950, R. W.Bro. Robert 
E. Davies, in 1961. R. W.Bro. John (Duke) Lemaich in 1972, R. W.Bro. 
Richard Lemaich in 1984 and R. W.Bro. Robert J. Leith in 1996. In 1977 
St. Alban's Lodge No. 200 hosted a Reception in honour of M.W.Bro. 
Robert E. Davies, a Past Master of their Lodge and then Grand Master 
of the Grand Lodge. The local high school auditorium was full to 



overflowing as well in excess of four hundred Masons were present to pay 
tribute to their Grand Master. In 1997 Bro. John R. Dippel was the 
recipient of the William Mercer Wilson Medal in recognition of his more 
than thirty years of dedicated service to his Lodge as Organist and the 
many contributions he has made to his community. 

St. Alban's Lodge No. 200 has through the years been a vital part of 
Community Life and has served the population well. It has held regular 
meetings over the past 129 years and its members played key roles of 
leadership in the development of the Community. Theirs is a truly proud 

Harris Lodge No. 216, Orangeville 

Irving Lodge, Elora; received in April 1869 eight Masons from 
Orangeville who presented a motion to form a Lodge in Orangeville 
which motion was passed by the brethren. Thus began the formation of 
what is now known as Harris Lodge No. 216, Orangeville. The Lodge 
was officially instituted May 26, 1869 and is named in honour of 
R.W.Bro. Thomas B. Harris, Grand Secretary. 

The first special ceremony of Harris Lodge No. 216 was its 
dedication held September 9, 1869. The event was recorded in the local 
newspaper, the Orangeville Sun. which reported that after the ceremony 
the brethren retired for a sumptuous feast the total cost of which was fifty 

The exact location of the first meeting is not known. However, 
speculation is that it was held in Middleton's Hotel located on the south 
side of Broadway opposite the Town Hall. 

Tliree important committees were struck at this first meeting namely, 
a By-law committee to prepare the first By-laws for the new Lodge, 
another to purchase furniture and equipment, and the third to procure the 
Jewels and Working Tools. It is of interest to note the cost of various 
purchases made by the brethren. Lodge furniture was fifty-nine dollars 
twenty-five cents, carpeting and curtains seventy-nine dollars and sixty- 
one cents, the original Volume of the Sacred Law four dollars fifty cents 
and the Warrant thirty dollars. At this first meeting the first application 
for affiliation to Harris Lodge was received. 

In the early years the officers worked extremely hard in Lodge. By 
the end of 1870, over a period of one and one-half years, the membership 
of die Lodge had increased to forty-nine from the original seven. It was 
common for four or five candidates to be initiated in one night with two 
candidates in one degree and two in another. Frequently Lodge would 



continue until 1 1 p.m., break off for refreshments and then resume labour 
until 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m. before closing. Lodge was not called off for 
July and August. There were occasionally fourteen regular meetings. The 
Lodge was so active that emergent meetings were held frequently. This 
was quite a feat considering that travel was by horse and buggy, stage 
coach or steam rail or of course, on foot. The nearest Lodges were located 
in Bolton, Brampton, Georgetown, Guelph and Mowit Forest. 

Harris Lodge was originally part of Huron District but was switched 
to the new Wellington District in 1869 where it remained until the 
formation of Grey District in 1916. 

The meeting place for Harris Lodge was constant for approximately 
ninety years during winch time the Lodge met on the tlurd floor of the 
Jackson Block until 1964. At that time the members decided that it was 
in their best interest to purchase land for the construction of a new 
building for its meetings. The members were successful in acquiring a 
large property. They then sold approximately one-half of the property for 
twice the original purchase price. The property is the existing site of the 
Lodge building, 

Harris Lodge No. 216 and its members over the years have made 
significant contributions to the community of Orangeville. Many brethren 
were and are highly respected members of the community. A total often 
mayors of Orangeville have been members of the Lodge including both 
the first and second to hold tins important municipal office. Two 
members have been county court judges, three have been principal of the 
high school, and several have been doctors, dentists; lawyers and 

Durham Lodge No. 306, Durham 

Masonry in Durham dates its origin from 1873 when a petition was 
presented to Grand Lodge praying for permission to establish a Lodge in 
Durham. Grand Lodge was pleased to favourably entertain the petition 
and on December 27th, 1873 issued a dispensation signed by M.W.Bro. 
William Mercer Wilson, Grand Master. 

The first meeting was held in January of the following year in 
Dalgleish's Hall, Upper Town. The minutes of that first meeting read as 
follows "Masonry in Durham owes much to the kindly interest and 
fostering care of St. Alban's Lodge, Mount Forest, which may justly be 
deemed the Mother Lodge of Durham Lodge No. 306." 

Durham Lodge has been fortunate in the choice of its officers and 
much of the progress and harmony winch has prevailed has been due in 



a large measure to the skill and ability with which they have handled its 
affairs. Durham Lodge has also been fortunate in the skill exhibited by 
those who have filled the office of Secretary over the years. 

The Lodge assisted in the formation of Lodges in Hanover and 
Flesherton and lias done and is doing all in its power to maintain at their 
fullest splendour those truly Masonic ornaments, Benevolence and 

The building presently occupied by the Lodge was purchased in 
1924. The lower portion has been rented to local merchants over the 
years with the Lodge occupying the whole of the second floor. 

Durham Lodge was placed in Georgian District until 1887 when it 
became a part of Wellington District where R.W.Bro. J. Ireland was 
elected District Deputy Grand Master in 1910. After the Lodge became 
a part of Grey District in 1916, several District Deputy Grand Masters 
were elected from the past Masters of the Lodge namely R.W.Bro. J. F. 
Grant in 1921, R.W.Bro W. H. Kress in 1933, R.W.Bro. McKechnie in 
1943, R.W.Bro. Norman Greenwood in 1957, R.W.Bro. H. E. 
McNaughton in 1970, R.W.Bro. Bruce Auckland in 1982 and R.W.Bro. 
Ross Clark in 1994. 

The Lodge Historian closes by stating that "while we may have had 
our days of shadow, yet we feel that our days of sunshine have more than 
outnumbered them and we look forward with a fierce but humble 
confidence to the days that are to be." 

North Star Lodge No. 322, Owen Sound 

North Star Lodge No. 322 originated in 1874. Its name has aided it 
in setting and keeping on a true course through the two great wars and 
the years of depression in the "Dirty Thirties" and the changes which 
have occurred in society in recent years. 

In 1878 North Star was placed in Toronto District and then moved 
to Georgian District in 1879. With the division of Georgian District in 
1912, North Star was placed in Georgian 9A District where it remained 
until the formation of Grey District in 1916. 

Since its creation North Star has had ten of its members serve as 
District Deputy Grand Master of Grey District. In addition twelve of its 
members have received appointments such as Grand Organist, Grand 
Senior Deacon, Grand Pursuivant, Grand Junior Warden, Assistant 
Grand Director of Ceremonies, Assistant Grand Chaplain and Grand 

The Lodge has held annually for many years several special events 
including a Widows' Tea in June, participation in Remembrance Day 



services, providing gifts and visits to the shut-ins each December, and a 
children's Christmas Party at the Lodge for needy children. More recently 
a breakfast was held for prospective members who were given an 
opportunity to visit the Lodge room, view the video "Friend to Friend" 
and receive some insight into Masonry. 

North Star Lodge No. 322 will celebrate its 125th Anniversary in 
1999. The brethren are eagerly anticipating the events which will be held 
to mark this Masonic milestone. 

Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333, Flesherton 

Masonry had its beginnings in Flesherton in May of 1875 when two 
meetings were held by Masons of the area to discuss the advisability of 
forming a Masonic Lodge in the Village. A motion was passed at the first 
of these meetings to make application to the Grand Lodge to establish a 
Lodge in Flesherton. The schoolhouse was selected by the brethren as the 
meeting place for the proposed Lodge. A donation of fifty dollars was 
requested from each member for the purchase of furniture for the Lodge 

The first regular meeting of Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333, 
Flesherton, was held January 14, 1876, with many brethren and visitors 
in attendance to celebrate die receiving of the dispensation to institute the 
Lodge on June 15, 1875. 

The members of Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333 owe a debt of 
gratitude to the brethren of Durham Lodge No. 306, Durham, for their 
assistance in the formation of their Lodge. Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333 
was in the Districts of Georgian and Georgian 9 A prior to becoming part 
of Grey District in 1916. 

The Centennial of the Lodge was celebrated June 20, 1975, when 
R.W.Bro. Robert E. Davies, Member of the Board (as he was then), was 
in attendance to dedicate the colours of the Lodge to mark its one 
hundred years in Masonry. 

Prince Arthur Lodge has been honoured to have several of its Past 
Masters hold the position of District Deputy Grand Master representing 
the Grand Master in Grey District, namely R.W.Bro. Thomas Blakely in 
1916, R.W.Bro. Alfred Down in 1944, R.W.Bro. John McWilliam in 
1956, RW.Bro. Fred Bannon in 1968, R. W.Bro. Ross Smith in 1979 and 
R.W.Bro. Alfred O'Dell in 1991. 



Prince Arthur Lodge, No. 334, Arthur 

"77/e members of the Masonic Fraternity resident in Arthur Village, 
deeming it in the interest of Masonry, and for the convenience of the 
brethren residing in the vicinity, that a new Lodge should be established 
in Arthur, held a meeting to take the preliminary steps to secure the 
desired end. " 

This quotation is from the records of Prince Arthur Lodge No. 334 
at its first preliminary meeting Aug. 12, 1875. At this meeting a motion 
was passed by the brethren to seek the assistance of St. Alban's Lodge 
No. 200, Mount Forest, in applying for a Warrant from the Grand Lodge. 

The first regular meeting of the Lodge was held on the third floor of 
the Henderson Block building on October 12, 1875. Present at that 
meeting were the nine charter members of the Lodge each of whom was 
a member of St. Alban's Lodge. A strong cordial relationship between the 
two Lodges has continued to the present from those early beginnings. 
The Lodge records indicate that following the closing of Lodge the 
brethren retired to Buschlen's Hotel for refreshments and a dinner at the 
cost of twenty-five cents per person. 

It is recorded that on July I, 1886, an emergent meeting was held for 
the brethren to attend a picnic. Lodge was opened at 10:00 a.m. and 
called from labour to refreslunent at 1 1:30 a.m. to permit the brethren to 
join in the "Canada" celebrations. The Worshipful Master read a special 
dispensation allowing the brethren to appear clothed in their regalia in 
public at the picnic. Lodge was called from labour to refreshment at 4:00 
p.m. and closed shortly thereafter. 

The present Lodge hall on Edward Street in the village was 
constructed during 1962-1963. The brethren decided to find a new 
location for their meetings as the third floor meeting place was in need 
of repair and the more elderly brethren had difficulty in attending 
meetings because of its third floor location. The dedication of the new 
premises was held in June 1963 under the direction of the Grand Master, 
M.W.Bro. R.W. Treleaven, who was assisted by R.W.Bro. Wilfred 
Newell, District Deputy Grand Master, Grey District. 

During its history eight members of Prince Arthur Lodge No. 334 
have represented the Grand Master in the capacity of District Deputy 
Grand Master, namely R.W.Bro. Thomas Rafier in 1912, R.W.Bro. 
Wellington Pinder in 1932, R.W.Bro. Wilbert Drury in 1948, R.W.Bro. 
Peter McTavish in 1960, R.W.Bro. William Burnett in 1971, RW.Bro. 
Clarence Jackson in 1983, RW.Bro. Lome Brown in 1983 and R.W.Bro. 
Timothy O'Donnell in 1995. 

The Lodge is presently preparing for the celebration of its 125th 
Anniversary to be held in the year 2000. 



Lome Lodge No. 377, Shelburne 

Lome Lodge No. 377, Shelburne, was formed in 1879 and placed in 
Georgian District where it was to remain until it became a part of Grey 
District in 1916. The year the Lodge was formed Shelburne was 
incorporated as a village. Again we see the parallel of growth between 
Lodge and Community. 

Lome Lodge No. 377 celebrated its centennial in 1979, when a Grey 
District Reception was held in Shelburne for the then Grand Master, 
M.W.Bro. Robert E. Davies. Four hundred and twenty-five Masons 
turned out on this gala occasion. Welcoming the guests was the then 
District Deputy Grand Master, R W.Bro. Durward I. Greenwood and now 
himself Grand Master. 

In 1949 Lome Lodge, having until then held meetings in rented 
quarters, bought the former Wesley United Church. A considerable 
number of renovations have been undertaken over the years and the 
building now accommodates Lome Lodge No. 377, Prince Edward 
Chapter, Royal Arch Masons and an Eastern Star Chapter. 

With a present membership of eighty five, Lome Lodge is entering 
a very busy year of degree work and many of its members are active in 
York Rite, Scottish Rite and Shrine activities. 

Scott Lodge No. 421, Grand Valley 

Scott Lodge was instituted in 1888 however much of the early history 
was lost in a fire and must be taken from an article written in 1938 in the 
Grand Valley Star and Vidette, the year of Scott Lodge's Fiftieth 

The Lodge was named after W. R. Scott, one of the earliest settlers 
in this area and one of the most active Charter Members and who with 
the assistance of Bro. Hopkins and Bro. Cooper worked to get a Lodge 
chartered in Grand Valley. Scott Lodge began its history as a member of 
Wellington District and in 1916 it became a vital part of the newly 
formed Grey District. 

In the first years, members of Harris Lodge No. 316, Orangeville, 
came by horse and buggy to assist the new Lodge. R. W.Bro. Preston of 
Harris Lodge installed the officers for the first few years. The new Lodge 
first met in a small room only 18 by 23 feet in what was known as the 
Dillon block and moved in 1898 to more spacious quarters in a room 
designed and built by Bro. Hopkins in the Hamilton block. 

The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Samuel A. Greenwood, father of the 
present Grand Master, presided at the Fiftieth Anniversary Banquet 
which was attended by M.W.Bro. William J. Dunlop, Grand Master and 
R. W.Bro. Ewart G. Dixon, Grand Secretary. Brethren from as far off as 



Welland, Toronto, Hamilton, Teeswater, Orillia and Owen Sound helped 
make this a great fraternal event. 

The Historian was unable to ascertain when the fire occurred but he 
knew the Lodge was meeting over Edmund's Drug Store after the war 
and until the building was sold. In 1975 the present Lodge Room was 
built and dedicated. The Dedication was conducted by the then Deputy 
Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Robert E. Davies. 

Since the Lodge was constituted in 1888, five hundred and four 
members have signed the register. Three members have served as Grand 
Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, namely R.W.Bro. Morrison Sellars in 
1951, R.W.Bro. R. Cerwyn Davies in 1987 and R.W.Bro. Jeffrey C. 
Davison in 1996. Seven members of Scott Lodge have served as District 
Deputy Grand Master. A Reception to honour M.W.Bro. Durward I. 
Greenwood, Grand Master was held in the Grand Valley Arena Complex 
in the fall of 1995. A packed house welcomed their Grand Master who 
will receive his fifty-year membership pin and card in December 1997. 

Scott Lodge has had a goodly share of members who have given 
great service to the Craft. W.Bro. Jas. McGregor of Scott Lodge moved 
to Saskatchewan where he later served as Grand Master of the Grand 
Lodge of Saskatchewan. Bro. Tony West was honoured for the many 
contributions he has made to his community and to his Lodge with the 
presentation in 1996 of the William Mercer Wilson Medal. They are but 
two more distinguished Masons to add to the list of those who have 
already been noted. The outstanding service to Masonry of so many 
dedicated members provides leaderslup and inspiration for all. 

Dundalk Lodge No. 449, Dundalk 

Dundalk Lodge No. 449 was organized on May 24, 1901, and was 
placed in Georgian District. It became part of Georgian 9A District in 
1912 where it remained until becoming part of Grey District upon its 
formation in 1916. 

The first Lodge room was located above what is now known as 
Dundalk Variety Store on Main Street East in Dundalk. In 1923 the 
Lodge meeting place was relocated to its present location at 4 Proton 
Street in Dundalk. The Lodge purchased the building in 1968. 

A review of the minutes of the early years of Dundalk Lodge reveals 
that most meetings were attended by a large number of visitors, often 
travelling a considerable distance. The first degree work was the Entered 
Apprentice Degree conferred on October 23, 1901, on Bro. Robert 
Maxwell. An emergent meeting was held October 31, 1902, for the 
dedication of Duudalk Lodge at which twenty-eight Grand Lodge officers 
and visitors joined the Dundalk brethren in the celebration. 



At the meeting of the Lodge held October 29, 1906, the Worshipful 
Master ruled that it was not right to show the notices calling the Lodge 
meetings to outsiders. 

The meeting of April 29, 1912, was "closed in harmony in the third, 
second and first degrees at 12:55 a.m. following a Board of Trial, an 
Initiation and the conferring of the Third Degree on three candidates. " 

Dundalk Lodge flourished in its early years. However, it then faced 
various challenges when its Master became a non-resident member and 
only attended two meetings during his term of office and membership 
declined to as few as seven members. Upon enquiry the Grand Master 
was advised by the Secretary of the Lodge that throughout his term "the 
Lodge held a properly constituted meeting each month, that a Past 
Master presided at each meeting and saw that Masonry suffered no loss." 

Whatever the problems were at Dundalk Lodge the situation reversed 
itself following the installation of a new Master and investiture of a new 
slate of officers at an emergent meeting held in January 1911. The Lodge 
blossomed during the 1920s and 1930s with applications for Initiation 
being received at most regular meetings. Frequently more than one 
degree was conferred at each regular meeting. 

It is recorded that a member of Dundalk Lodge prior to his death in 
1920 wrote to the officers and brethren stating that although able to 
provide for the day-to-day necessities, it would be necessary to look to his 
brethren for assistance for his funeral as well as his widow's needs after 
his death. The Lodge arranged for his burial with Masonic honours at the 
cemetery he had selected. At the next regular meeting following his death 
a committee was struck to meet with his widow and to ensure that her 
needs were satisfied with the assistance of the brethren. This event was 
a clear example of Masonry at work. 

Dundalk Lodge No. 449 has on five occasions provided a District 
Deputy Grand Master to represent the Grand Master in Grey District, 
namely R.W.Bro. W. G. Blackwell in 1923, R.W.Bro. S. C. Sudden in 
1952, RW.Bro. Leslie Moore in 1964, RW.Bro. Daniel Ritchie in 1974 
and RW.Bro. Bruce Dobson in 1986. 

A revered member of the Lodge, Bro. Emerson Ludlow, was the 
recipient of the William Mercer Wilson Medal in 1991 in recognition of 
his devotion as Secretary of Dundalk Lodge No. 449 for 25 years and for 
many years of community service as a volunteer with several 
organizations in Dundalk. 



Hiram Lodge No. 490, Markdale 

Masonry in Markdale from its inception to the present has enjoyed 
a close fraternal association with Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333, 
Flesherton. By the turn of the century there were Masonic Lodges in 
surrounding municipalities but none in Markdale. Several of the leading 
citizens of Markdale were members of the Lodge in Flesherton. Interest 
was growing for the formation of a Lodge to serve the needs of the 
members of the Craft residing in Markdale and surrounding area. 

Following approval from Grand Lodge those plans were realized 
with the first formal held meeting in Markdale on November 17, 1908. 
The name Hiram Lodge was chosen and the ceremony of constituting the 
new Lodge was held in the presence of forty-five visiting Masons from 
Lodges in Flesherton, Dundalk, Thornbury, Shelburne, Alliston, Guelph, 
Waterford, Toronto and Hamilton. 

At this meeting eleven Masons were installed aud invested as the 
first officers of Hiram Lodge and recognized as Charter Members. The 
Worshipful Master was W.Bro. William A. Armstrong, a Past Master of 
Prince Arthur Lodge No. 333, Flesherton. Following the ceremony the 
first order of business was the receiving of seven applications for 
initiation. The Master appointed an examining board of three to make 
inquiry into all seven applications. 

Regular monthly meetings were held "on the Tuesday on or 
immediately preceding the full moon" undoubtedly to facilitate travel 
during the late night hours. 

In the first year a total of eighteen meetings were held mainly 
consisting of degree work with ten Initiations, ten Fellowcraft degrees 
and nine Master Mason degrees conferred. It was not unusual to hold 
four degrees in one evening, calling from labour to refreshment for one 
hour between the degrees and then concluding the meeting at one o'clock 
the next morning. 

The Markdale brethren made their first public appearance in June 
1909 when, accompanied by fourteen members from the Flesherton 
Lodge, they attended a Divine Service in the Methodist Church. It is 
recorded that "the Preacher, Rev. Bro. Wilson, spoke on the subject of the 
tliree great pillars of Hie Masonic Order— Wisdom, Strength and Beauty ~ 
and with more than his usual vigour gave a forty-five minute discourse!" 

On October 26, 1909, Hiram Lodge was officially constituted and 
consecrated in an impressive ceremony conducted by officers of Grand 
Lodge from surrounding districts. The records of the Lodge state "the 
Ark of the Covenant, covered with white linen representing the Lodge 
was carried in front of the procession. Then the Lodge was consecrated 



with corn, wine and oil during the first, second and third circum- 
ambulation by the Grand Lodge officers. Thus, by ancient custom the 
officers were formally placed in their respective chairs and the Lodge was 
officially denoted as Hiram Lodge No. 490 on the Register of Grand 

The first inter-Lodge visitation was held in February 1910 when the 
brethren from Flesherton and the two Owen Sound Lodges journeyed to 
Hiram Lodge. This event was commemorated with the presentation of an 
ebony gavel to Hiram Lodge. The gavel is still used by the Worshipful 
Master of the Lodge today. The early records of the Lodge indicate that 
visitation was abundant even on regular meeting nights when conditions 
for travel were considerably less comfortable than today. 

During the first two years of its existence no formal elections of 
officers were held although several officers were replaced due to 
resignations. In January 1911 the first election of officers was held. This 
was to occur annually until 1936 when the ceremony of installation was 
moved to June 24th, St. John the Baptist Day. 

Masonry in Markdale was firmly established in 1908. The Lodge was 
placed in Georgian District in 1909 and was transferred into Georgian 
9 A District until 1912 where it remained until it was placed in the newly 
fonned Grey District in 1916. 

In 1958 the brethren of Hiram Lodge began the process of securing 
new facilities for their meetings. Approval was given by the members in 
1959 to establish committees for the purchase of property on which to 
construct a suitable building. Property was purchased on Walker Street 
and the construction of the facility proceeded with culminating in its 
dedication on April 2, 1962, with the assistance of then District Deputy 
Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Robert E. Davies, now Grand Secretary. The 
Lodge hall continues to serve the Hiram brethren well and is a credit to 
them, to Masonry in general and to the community. 

Wellington Lodge No. 271, Erin 
A lustory of Masonry in Grey District is not complete without taking 
into consideration Wellington Lodge No. 271, Erin. 

The Lodge was formed in 1872 and placed in Wellington District. 

Wellington Lodge encountered some difficulties with membership in 
the early years of this century. The following observations were made by 
the District Deputy Grand Master following his visit to the Lodge in the 
years: 1917— all chairs occupied by Past Masters and spoke of plans to 
revive Masonry in the Lodge; 1918— the Lodge suffered from removals 



but that it was under the care of good Past Masters; 1919— no degree for 
the officers but prospects looked good for the future. 

It is recorded that by 1920 the fortunes of Wellington Lodge had 
turned for die better. The Lodge was flourishing with degree work being 
performed regularly by very good young officers. The Spirit of Masonry 
was very evident in the members. In 1923 the Lodge moved into new 
facilities. Clearly the Lodge had rebounded from its earlier difficulties. 
Reports with respect to the condition of Masonry in Wellington Lodge 
continued to be very positive. 

The Lodge was moved into Grey District with its formation in 1916 
and remained a vital member of the Grey District until its petition to be 
a part of Wellington District was granted in 1940. 


Similarities were very evident in the histories of the Lodges 
of Grey District. In many instances the early history revealed 
a close intertwining with the development of the Community. 
In all Lodges, the members were very involved in the life of 
the Community and the Masonic leaders seemed also to be the 
leading citizens of the Community. 

Assistance was freely given to neighbouring Brethren as 
they sought to form Lodges in their own communities. The 
continuing interest in the well being of the neighbouring 
Lodges continues even to this day. Growth patterns in 
membership in Grey District seemed to parallel those of Grand 
Lodge as the periods immediately following the two world 
wars saw an above-average increase in membership. 

The number of Brethren in Grey District who have served 
their Lodge and District with distinction as well as their Grand 
Lodge at every level is most remarkable and serves to 
illustrate the degree of competency and dedication to be found 
amongst the Brethren of every Lodge in Grey District. Surely 
it can be said that "Masonry rests on a solid foundation in 
Grey. " 


The Times of His Life 


at The Heritage Lodge Eighty-Fourth Regular Meeting 

Preston-Hespeler Masonic Temple, Cambridge Ont. 

September 17, 1997 


I wish to thank The Heritage Lodge for giving me tills opportunity, 
as a member of the Lodge instituted in Otto Klotz's name, to present a 
record of his most notable achievement: Service to his community in the 
field of education. 

The man in the portrait displayed in the West looks rather stern and 
conservative, which he was in many respects but judged by sentiments of 
his times he was zealous, radical and determined. 

It is only by presenting an overview of the social and economical 
conditions of his era that his achievements can be placed in their proper 
perspective, hence the title The Times of His Life. 

As Charles Dickens wrote: It was the best of times, it was the worst 
of times, the age of wisdom, the age of foolishness, the epoch of belief, 
the season of light, the season of darkness, the spring of hope and the 
winter of despair. 

Otto Klotz was born in the Baltic part of Keel, Denmark in 
November 1817 during a great recession following the Napoleonic Wars. 
Inflation reduced the value of their currency by 93%. A 10 year 
agricultural crisis occurred, social unrest was rampant due to the 
industrial revolution. These conditions persisted until the 1840's until 
that part of Denmark was drawn into the German confederation. 

In 1837 speculating in the wheat market, Otto Klotz sailed to New 
York, a voyage of 79 days, discovered the market had collapsed and the 
venture was a failure. Unable to find work, he traveled to Seaforth, 
Ontario, tried farming at which he also failed. Only 20 years old, he 
arrived at the German settlement of Preston and remained there until he 
died at the age of 75, witnessing its transformation from a rural 
backwater to a major industrial centre. 

Thousands of German immigrants bringing their skills in farming 
and manufacturing, settled there during the early 1800's and 1820's. The 
adjoining town, Berlin, now Kitchener, became the centre of German 
language and culture in British Ontario and probably Canada. 



Several groups shared the local history, Pennsylvania Mennonites, 
Amish, Germans, Scots and Irish. Small villages began informally at 
crossroads and mill sites, Waterloo Elmira, Hespeler. 

Travel was extremely difficult; the first wagon team driven from 
Dundas to Preston by George Clemens, took three weeks to make the 
journey having at times to disassemble the wagon to physically carry it 
through the Beverley Swamp. 

A road trip from Hamilton to St. Catharines took two days. Travel 
was easier and faster in the winter. Remoteness tended to make many 
settlers very self sufficient. Many tended sheep, sheared the wool, carded 
it, spun it into cloth and then waited for an itinerant tailor to make his 
rounds in the district He was paid $.75 a day plus room and board. 

Canada offered a new life and opportunity for all these people. Scots, 
German and Irish did not simultaneously say: Let's go to Preston, 
Ontario, it seems like the right thing to do. Some were driven here by 
forcible emigration and economic conditions, but in Canada, as in the 
U.S. the skills and determination of Europe's poor made the Country rich. 

In this environment, almost immediately, Otto Klotz became 
acquainted with a surveyor called William Scolleck, who instructed him 
in surveying and conveyancing. On Scollick's death, he became his 
successor and prospered. In 1838 he purchased a brewery and began 
building a hotel, called the Klotz Hotel. It is still in Preston to-day 
operating as the Central Hotel. 

His Masonic and community achievements are well known (detailed 
on an original biography I have copied for the Brethren present). The 
highlights are: 

1. Initiated into Barton Lodge #6 Hamilton in 1846. 

2. Affiliated with Alma Lodge, Gait in 1858. 

3. Master of Alma Lodge in 1863-64-65. 

4. Elected in 1869 as the first D.D.G.M. of the newly fonned Wellington 

5. Affiliated with Grand River Lodge #151 in 1866. 

6. Honourary member of Gait Lodge #257 in 1872. 

7. One of founders and first master of Preston Lodge in 1873. 

8. Appointed to the Board of General Purposes in 1864. 

9. Elected Honorary Past Grand Master by Grand Lodge in 1885. 
Regalia presented at the 90th anniversary of Barton Lodge No. 6 in 

While this biography is essentially true in the records of his 
achievements, its tone does not accurately reflect conditions in Victorian 
times, described here as the romantic days of the 19th century. There was 



little romance for many people during Victoria's reign. It was 
characterized by great social upheaval and suffering; insensitive 
government and the efforts of many men and women to improve the 
conditions of their fellow human beings. 

I believe the ideals of freemasonry were in advance of social 
conditions and motivated men such as Otto Klotz throughout his lifetime. 
When you read that part of the General Charge written by Otto Klotz it 
is tempting to look for contradictions between what he said and what he 
did. Were the ideals expressed just talk? Not in his case. He translated 
those ideals into positive, pragmatic action on behalf of this community 
for 55 years. 

The General Charge begins: "Such is the nature of our Institution, 
that while some must of necessity rule and teach, so others must of 
course learn to submit and obey. Humility in both is an essential duty. " 

That last sentence was a revolutionary concept when it was written. 
I believe it was influenced by the American Constitution; the placing of 
checks and balances into the political process to guard against the abuse 
of power and to remind those in Government who are the servants and 
who are the masters. The Constitution contains the signature of nine 

Humility during the years of Otto Klotz's time was to a great extent 
ignored by those who ruled and enforced upon those who did not. 
Nowhere was this more apparent than in the area of education. 
Canada's system at that time paralleled England's. 

Their attitude to the education of the working classes was summed 
up by a speech given to parliament in London by M.P. Davis Gedding. 
opposing a Bill to introduce Scottish style free rate aided schools into 

"However specious in theory the project might be of giving 
education to the poof, it would be prejudicial to their morals and 
happiness. It would teach them to despise their lot in life, instead of 
making them good servants in agriculture and other laborious 
employment. Instead of teaching them subordination it would render 
them fractious and refractory as was evidenced in the manufacturing 
counties. It would enable them to read seditious pamphlets, vicious 
books, publications against Christianity. It would render them insolent 
to their superiors and in a few years the legislature would find it 
necessary to direct the strong arm of power against them. " 

He didn't realize how prophetic those remarks were. Another more 
famous contemporary, Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations and 



Moral Philosophy, stated: The common people cannot in any civilized 
society, be so well instructed as people of rank and fortune. 

The political and economic requirements of upper and middle classes 
therefore, maintained an easy precedence over all other considerations. 
The education of the masses was low social priority. 

Why this fear of education? Fear of boots? Books contain ideas. Ideas 
create conflicts. Ideas challenge the status quo and the order of society. 
For example: 

The American Revolution; 

The French Revolution; 

The concept of liberty, equality and fraternity; 

The Industrial Revolution and the social turmoil it created, its 
effects were ignored by society; 

The sabotage of machinery by the Luddites; 

Frustrated victims of early mechanization and impossible work 

The great recession following the Napoleonic Wars; 

The works of Thomas Paine, author of The Rights of Man and The 

Age of Reason. People were exiled to Australia for reading and 

distributing his works. He advocated the Abolition of the Monarchy. He 

believed Government should be devoted to the common good and 

equality of rights. 

In a pamphlet called, "The Eight Articles", he proposed that funds 
be set aside by the government for the education of one million poor. He 

"A nation under a welt regulated government should permit none to 
remain uninstructed. It is Monarchial and Aristocratical government only 
that requires ignorance for its support" 

The government responded by charging him with treason and he 
escaped to France. His writing influenced every political radical for the 
next 100 years including a schoolteacher and Member of Parliament from 
Dundas, Ontario, called William Lyon MacKenzie. Opposing British rule 
he started a rebellion in 1837. Locals were drafted into the Upper Canada 
Militia in this area to fight including a 20 year old called Otto Klotz who 
had been here for tliree months. His Commanding Officer was Colonel 
Sir Alan MacNab, Grand master of Masons in Canada prior to the Union 
of Grand Lodges. So this was his first Masonic connection and illustrates 
the fact that Masons were involved on both sides. 

A young Militia member conscripted in Toronto was John A 
MacDonald who also fought on behalf of the British Crown. Two of the 
rebels hanged after the rebellion were Samuel Stuart and Peter Mathews. 



Their memorial in the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto is in the form of 
a broken column. 

Another rebel, Samuel Edison from Vienna, in Wilson South 
District escaped to Ohio where, in 1847 Ins son was born, Thomas 
Edison. While there were many complex reasons for the rebellion, one 
was the refusal of the Government to allocate funds for education. 
Although the rebellion failed, it did result in fundamental reforms in the 
way Canadians were governed and governed themselves. 

This fear of revolution persisted into the 1920's until reform political 
parties representing the rights of all individuals gained legitimacy. But 
not all attempts to improve the lot of the working classes were 
revolutionary or advocated the overthrow of government. Movements 
sprung up in Europe called Chartism and the enlightenment which 
tended to improve the lot of the average citizen by encouraging the 
growth of mass literacy and the study of moral and social philosophy. It 
recognized the material benefits of industrialization but it believed it did 
not necessarily lead to happiness. There was a decline in the proportion 
of people working in agriculture and a shift to an industrial society. The 
emphasis of education allowed everyone the opportunity for self 
improvement and social mobility. 

It is tins philosophy I believe, reflecting the attitudes and values of 
Freemasonry which influenced Otto Klotz. Although he is best known as 
the man who established the first free school in Preston, I believe this 
was inevitable. The Common Law School Act in 1841, the estab- 
lishment of Preston as an independent village in 1852 after separating 
from Wellington County, gave them the autonomy although he certainly 
was the driving force behind it. Something had to change the system. 
Prior to 1842 schools were private houses, meeting places, abandoned 
villages, unused shops, log houses built by private subscription. 

Teachers were itinerant ex-soldiers, tradesmen, part-time in other 
occupations, scholarship was unknown, examinations and certificates, 
unheard of. Otto Klotz helped to change alt that. 

Twenty years later, he began his most ambitious project Aided by the 
Provincial Treasury, Otto Klotz founded the Mechanics Institute in 
Preston in 1871. The Institute provided instruction through its large 
library which he donated, to the mechanical artisan, tradesman and 
fanner, to the student of literature, science and art Last but not least as 
a prospectus of the time stated: "To the fair sex - be it the blooming 
maiden - the young housewife and mother - the aged matron - all may 
find instruction in dressmaking, mending, darning, cooking, baking, 
housekeeping, manners and rules of society, rearing of children and in 



making the home the abode of peace, harmony, comfort and love". 

The Institute offered a library, a reading room, evening classes. It 
enlarged the instruction received in the common schools. Curriculum 
consisted of writing, shorthand, telegraphy, bookkeeping, grammar, 
physics and chemistry, musical concerts, public readings and recitations. 

The success and importance of the Mechanics Institutes is illustrated 
by a letter written by Otto Klotz to J. George Hodgins, Deputy Minister 
of Education, February 11, 1885: 

"When you requested me to prepare for the International Congress 
of Education in New Orleans, of which you are Honorary Secretary, a 
paper on the Mechanics Institutes with a view of showing they are a 
factor in our educational and intellectual growth, I expressed my 
willingness to do so at the same time my doubts as to my ability to do 
justice to that important subject. However, prompted by the desire to 
assist, though only in a small quota, in having before the Congress, facts 
which prove that we live in a country where educational institutes are 
well established and doing good work. 

"I have prepared a paper on the Mechanics Institute and send the 
same to you as requested. Should it not meet with your approval, please 
do not hesitate for a moment to refuse it. I will not be offended as I know 
your reputation is at stake for whatever you present at Congress and 
therefore you cannot lay before that body any paper not worthy for such 
an occasion. 

"The object is to organize a system of instruction which would prove 
best adapted to impart useful knowledge for a practical life to all the 
industrial classes." 

In closing this letter 14 pages later, Otto Klotz reiterates: 

"It may further be justly expected that by future improvements in the 
system of the schools, the ultimate purpose of the Mechanics Institute 
may be attained at a time not too far distant - namely, the technological 
education of the industrial classes, both male and female - the mechanic - 
the artisan - the tradesman - the farmer and the housewife." 

So mote it be, Otto Klotz. 

Two weeks before he died, on July 14,1892, he wrote to a friend. 

"The resolve I made when a youdi of about 20 years to the effect that 
I would to all in my power to aid in the promotion of a good, rational and 
liberal education for our rising generation has been conscientiously 

Someone once said nature is not so lavish with her blooms that she 
joins to high intelligence, the gifts of the heart also. 

The details expressed in the preceding letters show Otto Klotz to be 



an exception. They illustrate the Masonic and cardinal virtues of charity, 
justice, temperance, prudence, fortitude, the four cardinal virtues of 
Hellenistic thought which humans could call upon in the various 
situations of life. Thomas Aquinas identified them as the human virtues 
to be made use of in the interests of the greater good. - modesty - he felt 
his letter to J. George Hodgins may not be worthy of consideration - love 
of the liberal arts - a belief in the concept of Fraternity, Liberty and 
Equality - charity. 

As stated in the General Charge: He did the good act, not for 
himself, but for the cause of good. 

There is a tendency to sanctify Masonic figures, especially 19th 
century ones. I don't intend to do that. He was an astute businessman. 
Obviously he had means when he arrived Preston. He owned a Brewery 
and Tavern. Sale of alcohol was loosely controlled. No doubt there were 
times when patrons did not leave his premises of their own free will and 
accord. A reading of newspapers of the time reflect attitudes unacceptable 

He lived in a society where prejudice was directed against individuals 
who did not belong to the predominant social groups and as a Gennan, 
experienced it himself. Anti-German sentiment in 1916 forced the 
change of the name Berlin to Kitchener. A British citizen since 1848, he 
still remained president of the Gennan societies. That being said, Otto 
Klotz was an unusual man. He practiced what he preached, unmotivated 
by self-interest. He believed that the good of the people is the chief taw. 
His life demonstrates a love of progress and positive change. 

His obituary in the Dumfries Reporter derates equal space to his 
Community and Masonic achievements, as if one simply complemented 
the other seamlessly. Freemasonry and Masonic events and affairs were 
openly discussed in the newspapers. Freemasons could be on both sides 
of contentious issues and still contribute to society. 

He had something which we feel we have lost; a connection to the 
community. Perhaps a closer examination of his life and times will help 
us to find it again. 

Waterloo Historical Society, Kitchener Public Library 
The Active Virtues, from The Unconscious Civilization by John Rautston Saul 
Gait Reporter/Dumfries Reporter, 1 856- 1 892 
Chartists & The Enlightenment, Yale University Press 
The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes 

The Temple & The Lodge, Freemasons and The American Constitution 
Denmark (1817-1 840), Research by Michelle Heap 

Copy of Lithograph of Preston 1 857, personal papers of Otto Klotz, Kitchener Public Library 
The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine, Penguin Edition 



for the Late 

R.W.Bro. Reverend 


March 23, 1916 - October 3, 1996 

P.D.D.G.M., Waterloo District 
Secretary, The Heritage Lodge, 1983-1994 

Conducted by R.W.Bro. Rev. Dr. R. Cenvyn Davies (P. G. Chaplain) 

November 20, J 996 

"Lives of all great men remind us 
That we must live our lives sublime, 
And in departing, leave behind us 
Footprints in the sands of time" 

Wesley Gray Rivers made his first impression in the sands of time on 
March 23rd 1916, in the parsonage of Gorrie Methodist Church, Ontario, 
the son of a Wesleyan minister. 

Graduating from Victoria College with a degree in Arts, it was no 
surprise that the son would follow in his father's footsteps and become 
himself a minister, for which purpose he entered Emmanuel Theological 
College, Toronto. 

Very early in his ministerial career, Gray Rivers became involved in the 
Christian Education programme of the United Church, which the 
Methodist church had become in 1925, and was stationed in Calgary. 

Whilst in Alberta he was married to lus wife Marjory. 


It was also in Alberta that he became a member of the Masonic Craft, 
being initiated, passed and raised in Camrose Lodge, No. 37, 
G.R. Alberta. 

R.W.Bro. W. Gray Rivers received his 50-year membership pin on 
Tuesday, October 1, 1996. 

From Alberta, Gray went to Manitoba to work among the Cree Nation 
people in Norway House. Returning to Ontario, he became involved in 
the Temperance Federation, and was one of the founders of the 
Abstainers Insurance. 

Being of the Metiiodist tradition, Gray moved around Ontario, pastoring 
churches in Preston, Port Dover, Appleby and Nelson. 

In 1982 R.W. Bro. Gray Rivers served as D.D.G.M. for Waterloo 
District, and one year later became a Charter and then a Life member of 
The Heritage Lodge, which he served faithfully and diligently as its 
secretary from 1983 to 1994. He was also an affiliate member of Concord 
Lodge No. 722 G.R.C. 

Here was a man, who although taken from the realm of the physical on 
October 3rd, 1996, has indeed left his footprints in the sands of time, as 
a member of the family of humankind, and especially as a member of the 
family of Freemasons. 

To God be the glory for such a man as Wesley Gray Rivers, a person who 
lived respected and died regretted. 

Lord, support us all the day long of our troublous life, until the 
shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, 
and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in Thy mercy 
grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen. 

So mote it be! 


for the Late R.W.Bro. Reverend 


February 21, 1923 - December 17, 1996 

Past Grand Chaplain, G.L. of Canada 
Chaplain, The Heritage Lodge No. 730 G.R.C. 

Conducted by R. IV. Bro. Rev. Dr. R. Cerwyn Davies (P. G. Chaplain) 

May 21, 1997' 

Call to Worship: 

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, 

the beginning and the end, 

the first and the last. 

I was dead and behold I am alive 

forever and ever; 

and because I live, you will live also. " (Revelations) 

Tribute and Reflection 
Arthur Watson staked his entire life on the truth of that statement! He 
structured his entire faith upon its premises, and his constant hope upon 
its promises! Art was not merely a minister of Religion, he was a 
minister of people through the medium of religion. He was ordained into 
the ministry of the United Church of Canada by the Saskatchewan 
Conference, and subsequently served eight pastorates in Saskatchewan, 
Quebec and Ontario. 

He earned four academic degrees, B. A., B.D., M.Div., M.Ed. 

Arthur was initiated into the Masonic Craft in Carlyle Lodge, under the 
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan on January 19th, 1954. 


On Nov 15th, 1965. he joined Doric Lodge No. 382 in Hamilton, Ontario, 
and became Worshipful Master in 1973. 

One year later, he was appointed by Most Worshipful Bro. George E. 
Turner, Grand Master, to be Grand Chaplain, an office which Art 
occupied with grace and dignity. 

In his Grand Chaplain's address to the 120th Annual Communication of 
Grand Lodge, R.W. Bro. Watson begins with "The journey of Masonry 
is a never ending quest for knowledge. No man can ever say, 1 have 
arrived' for the horizons ever beckon us onward to new mysteries." 

For forty-two years Arthur travelled with his brethren toward the East, 
where finally the sun rises and never sets, searching for secrets and 
hidden mysteries. 

For him, this journey has now ended, and indeed Art "has arrived " On 
Dec 17th 1996, he crossed the last horizon when the last veil of mystery 
was drawn aside and Arthur Watson looked his Maker face to face, and 
heard the voice of God saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant . . 
. enter into the joy of your Master." 

It is my conviction, that as he entered through the eternal portals, Art 
broke forth into song: 

Love, that wilt not let me go, 

1 rest my weary soul in Thee; 

I give Thee back the life I owe, 
That in Thine ocean depths its flow 
May richer, fuller be! 

So tonight, we his brethren here in Heritage, the Lodge wherein he has 
held life membership since Sept 19th, 1979, give to him, in recognition 
of his friendship and service to us and Craft in general, our final toast, 
"Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again. " 

And now, unto the God who created us and has sustained us hitherto, be 
all glory, power and dominion, for ever. Amen. 

So mote it be! 



We have been notified of the following members of 

The Heritage Lodge No. 730 G.R.C. 

Who have Passed to the Grand Lodge Above 

(since previous publication of names of our deceased) 


Dentonia Lodge No. 641 G.R.C., Toronto 

July 16, 1997 

Burlington Lodge No. 165 G.RC, Burlington 

May 19, 1996 


Palace Lodge No. 604 G.RC., Windsor 

October 14, 1996 


Canada Lodge No. 532 G.RC, Pickering 

December 1, 1996 


Great Western Lodge No. 47 G.RC, Windsor 

November 6, 1996 

We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 



We have been notified of the following members of 

The Heritage Lodge No. 730G.R.C. 

Who have Passed to the Grand Lodge Above 

(since previous publication of names of our deceased) 


St. Andrew's Lodge No. 62, Caledonia 

June 29, 1997 


Concord Lodge No. 722 G.R.C., Cambridge 

October 3, 1996 


Central Lodge No. 110, G.RC, Prescott 

February 20, 1997 


Doric Lodge No. 382 G.R.C., Hamilton 

December 17, 1996 

We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 


imiiluieb: g?rplrmbrr 21, 1077 
(Bonsltliilri: grptrmbrr 23, 107H 


Worshipful Master V.W.Bro. George A. Napper 519) 886-9963 

Immediate Past Master . RW.Bro. Larry J. Hostine 519) 825-7197 

Senior Warden W.Bro. Gordon L. Fin bow 705) 789-0333 

Junior Warden RW.Bro. P. Raymond Borland 519) 579-5075 

Chaplain RW.Bro. R Cerwyn Davies 416) 267-1967 

Treasurer RW.Bro. Duncan J. McFadgen 905) 634-7559 

Secretary V.W.Bro. Samuel Forsythe 905) 831-2076 

Assistant Secretary V.W.Bro. George F. Moore 519) 846-9100 

Senior Deacon W.Bro. Donald L. Cosens 519) 631-4529 

Junior Deacon RW.Bro. William C. Thompson 416) 261-8646 

Director of Ceremonies RW.Bro. Kenneth L. Whiting 416) 495-8172 

Inner Guard RW.Bro. Donald A. Campbell 905) 471-8641 

Senior Steward RW.Bro. Carl M. Miller 905) 728-8638 

Junior Steward RW.Bro. John H. Hough 905) 875-4433 

Organist V.W.Bro. Donald E. Senate 705) 292-7414 

Historian W.Bro. David G. Fletcher 519) 753-3206 

Tyler W.Bro. Michael P. Govier 519) 743-1 183 

Auditors RW.Bro. Kenneth G. Bartlett 519) 571-0613 

RW.Bro. M. Keith McLean 905) 632-6855 


Archivist and Curator RW.Bro. Edmund V. Ralph 416)447-4152 

Editor W.Bro. John F. Sutherland 519) 537-2927 

Masonic Information V.W.Bro. Donald B. Kaufman 519) 893-3526 

Finance R. W.Bro. Albert A. Barker 519) 756-0684 

Membership RW.Bro. William C. Thompson 416) 261-8646 

Black Creek Masonic Heritage RW.Bro. E .J. Burns Anderson 416) 247-7967 

Annual Banquet RW.Bro. P. Raymond Borland 519) 579-5075 

William J. Dunlop Award . . V.W.Bro. Donald B. Kaufman 519) 893-3526 
Liaskas Paintings/Marketing . . RW.Bro. Edmund V. Ralph 416) 447-4152 



1977 R.W.Bro. Jacob Pos 

1978 R.W.Bro. Jacob Pos 

1979 R.W.Bro. Keith R. A. Flynn 

1980 R.W.Bro. Donald G. S. Grinton 

1981 M.W.Bro. Ronald E. Groshaw 

1982 V.W.Bro. George E. Zwicker 

1983 R.W.Bro. Balfour LeGresley 

1984 M.W.Bro. David C. Bradley 

1985 M.W.Bro. C. Edwin Drew 

1986 R.W.Bro. Robert S. Throop 

1987 R.W.Bro. Albert A. Barker 

1988 R.W.Bro. Edsel C. Steen 

1989 R.W.Bro. Edmund V. Ralph 

1990 V.W.Bro. Donald B. Kaufman 

1991 R.W.Bro. Wilfred T.Greenhough* 

1992 R.W.Bro. Frank G. Dunn 

1993 W.Bro. Stephen H. Maizels 

1994 W.Bro. David G. Fletcher 

1995 R. W.Bro. Kenneth L. Whiting 

1996 R. W.Bro. Larry J. Hostine 

* Deceased